400 North Creative
Docuseries On Homeless Veterans
Introducing Doug Barrett, a native to Georgia, a Veteran, and now founder and head of 400 North Creative, a full cinematography, photography and drone creative company. 400 North Creative helps brands and businesses with photo and video content for marketing and branding. He takes to the streets in search of the real stories that often are overlooked.
Why did this project begin?
Dougs' passion for both creativity and his fellow men and women in uniform, who are commonly referred to as the one percent, “those who at one point determined ‘I will sign my life for potentially the ultimate sacrifice to the U.S Government’”, collided in on a business trip in Chicago late in the summer of 2018. There, Doug met a veteran, Leo, whom had been left without support from the USMC and the fire department where he worked, and found himself living on the streets. Doug takes the personal time and resources necessary to go tell stories like Leo’s, remembering each person by name, “making it a point not to forget them.”
What is the end goal of this project?
The goal for this project is to have a gallery where the photos are printed and the stories are written out and shared with those who may not be able to see them on social media. The goal is to share these stories with as many people as possible for awareness and to show love to all and to have compassion with everyone heart because we all have a story.
How can those who follow along on Instagram be involved in the project/ would you want that?
“The way you can be involved is to reach out via social media.” Doug is preparing ways for others to be involved on the back end of this project.
Do you have a favorite story you've shared so far?
“Yes! His name is Samuel Lee from Atlanta Georgia. While I was visiting my son, I just happened to pass through Centennial Park and Mr. Lee (and it was probably 90 degrees that day) was sitting under a tree on top of a cardboard box. I went up and talked to him and asked him why he was out there. He said it was because he was recently kicked out out of a homeless shelter. I asked him what part of Atlanta he was from and he said, ‘well I am not really from here. I am from California but I make Atlanta home now.’ He told me he was recently kicked out of a shelter because he got caught fighting a couple of young thugs who would routinely rob him and some other veterans of their cash because they do not have bank accounts. When he was kicked out, the VA (Veterans Affairs) would not distribute his monthly check to him because he does not have an address. That means they will hold his money, so he has to go to surrounding cities to get his name on a shelter list in order to get an address so he can get his checks so he doesn't have to live on the street. He is about 60 years old.”
Are people ever surprised that you stop?
Yes. You and I talk to people all day long, but these people are constantly getting overlooked. People just walk by them all day and nobody stops to talk to them.
How do you handle seeking out such hard and heavy stories?
Ya know, I am okay. You have to believe in something higher than yourself and know where your strength comes from. But don't showcase me, it's all about them and getting their stories out.
What is the demographic of what you traditionally see?
Mostly men ages 30-60. It is much harder for men to get resources than women so for them it is about survival and sticking together. In the past year, Doug has been able to travel to 12 states telling the stories of about 49 veterans. The project will not reach its completion until he has visited all 50 states and met veterans from each state. Following the conclusion of the project, Doug plans to potentially tell the stories of soldiers in harsh conditions internationally. The heart of this project is to share the idea that everyone has a story with factors behind it you may know nothing about. Reach out, start with hello and thank the one percent.
Written By: Carson Gunnigle, Customer Experience Intern at The Fellow Coworking