THE FRONT LINES is a nonfiction assemblage of stories and photos detailing modern-day poverty and homelessness in southwest Yonkers, New York by MFA Candidate Rachel McCain. A police “ride-along” of gritty southwest Yonkers provides one of the threads in a collection of my encounters with homeless people, nonprofit employees, government officials, residents and others who work, live, support and represent the city.
Yonkers is hardened, like a person who has seen too much too soon. Tales of homicide and drugs, racism and prostitution are woven into the fabric of the City of Hills. It is the old street walker of 1980s Larkin Plaza, sagging and worn from turning too many tricks. It’s the 1990s white resident living on the city’s residential east side, who is vehemently against building affordable housing in his or her neighborhood, despite growing up in Yonkers’ southwest. Conversely, it is the black or Hispanic resident living in the southwest, anxious and scared about his or her move to Yonkers’ east side, in 1995.