No Warmth for Lorreta
By AJ Lee
22 Apr 2014
Loretta Grasso, 54 and homeless, has been struggling for days after she was recently beaten in a metro station in Washington D.C., on March 16, 2013. Loretta sustained broken cheek and brow bones, as well as two broken wrists and four broken fingers, during the horrific event. The short amount of time I was able to photograph her in one day, I captured her journey from an everyday place she sits to a courthouse where she met her attacker. Although the journey was only a two mile walk, it was the long emotional journey that Lorretta fought in order to get to her destination. With her attacker in custody and behind bars, Lorrreta still was very cautious walking around D.C. She battled through the various emotions of anxiety and relief that she gets to meet her attacker face-to-face but also worried for her life if anything else could happen to her. "I'm scared to meet anybody now," Lorreta said, "and this has taken everything out of my body."
In the end she completed her mission to get to the courthouse and she faced her fears of meeting her attacker.
Unfortunately, since that day I have not been unable to find her. Every time I go to the areas she told me she's usually at, I search in hopes that I can find her again and talk to her some more. Or maybe I'll see her in a new location with her back on her feet.
To end this piece, I was recently told by someone I know that they saw Lorreta in D.C. He said when he saw her, it triggered his memory of my photos and her story, which led him to give her some money. Hearing that made me feel like I did something good. Whether the money given was a few quarters or a few dollars, Lorreta's story through my photos helped encourage someone to help someone else, a total stranger.