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Chronicling homelessness: the photographer living on streets all over the world

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Ed Gold has had several series published by the BBC, but he cant afford a home so he sleeps outside as he travels the globe for his work

Ed Gold, a British photographer, is currently living in central Australia, in an Aboriginal community amid an expanse of heat-baked red earth and whirl of waving grass. But he is not spending much time photographing: instead he is keeping himself afloat by refueling cars and planes and working in a store.

Despite having had numerous series published by the BBC on topics ranging from the Afghan war to a day in the life of a Polish nurse, Gold, 48, is homeless and, much of the time, penniless. He has lived on the street while working on shoots in Alaska, Vancouver and Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off British Columbia. When he’s back in the UK, he sleeps in doorways or in tents pitched behind his motorbike. The brutal economic realities of photojournalism leave him” in a situation where I’m poverty-stricken, but I’m not going to give up”, he said by phone recently.

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As employers increasingly offer temporary contracts and minimal benefits instead of traditional full-time roles, the security of many occupations has been eroded. Labor experts define such jobs as” precarious employment “. Adjunct teaching positions are a prime example, as we revealed lately. Facing shrinking newsroom budgets and the devaluing of their profession, photojournalists like Gold also face difficulties.

He knows he can’t go on like this forever. He has a heart murmur and says he’s almost a decade overdue for a heart valve replacement.” I’m already starting to feel the symptoms of it, which is increased tiredness” and severe double vision, he said. Sometimes mere subsistence is a struggle.” I never eat properly ,” he said.

Yet Gold thinks in grander terms.” How many other people are doing this ?” he said.” I’m giving people a voice who don’t usually have a voice, and that’s what’s the most important thing to me .”

Follow me on Twitter for our latest tales: @alastairgee.

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What we published

The US spends twice as much on a tax break for rich homeowners as it does on rent for the poor

As a polygamist community crumbles,” sister wives” are forced from their homes

Film: the 300 people who live in pitch-black tunnels underneath the Las Vegas glitz

” We fulfilled on OKCupid and live in a tent “: homeless person tell their love narratives

Homeless residents of RVs are pushed out near the future site of a school funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan

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