Photographer calls for action on behalf of homeless

Author/photographer Susan Madden Lankford of Rancho Santa Fe will lead a public panel discussion in San Diego on Dec. 1, triggered by her recent print documentary “DownTown U.S.A.: A Personal Journey with the Homeless.”

The coffee-table-size paperback is not for the squeamish. It’s a powerful, disturbing view of San Diego’s homeless community revealed through their words and her images of their lives on the streets and in the parks.

Lauded by one reviewer as “triumphant in restoring humanity to a subculture that we blithely label as the homeless,” the book is the second in a trilogy for the local photojournalist. Her 2008 project, “Maggots in My Sweet Potatoes: Women Doing Time,” was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the year.

The third book, to be titled “Born, Not Raised,” will explore the troubled psyches of young people serving time in juvenile hall.

Tuesday’s discussion, sponsored by Humane Exposures Publishing, will be 5 to 7 p.m. in the lobby of 655 W. Broadway, San Diego. The parking garage can be entered at the corner of Broadway and India. Beer, wine and appetizers will be served.

Among the topics for discussion:

  • The return of 9,000 parolees to San Diego
  • Lack of a winner shelter destination for 2009
  • Needs for mental health support for the homeless
  • Response to recent request proposal for a permanent shelter.

Reservations can be made at 987-6658 or www.human