Photography and Project Renewal gave Tedd a second chance

Tedd, 82, has grappled with clinical depression for most of his life.

Back then, they couldn’t spell it, let alone treat it,” he recalls. He managed on his own for years, completing art school and working in the advertising industry. But Tedd’s mental health concerns eventually caught up with him. His 26-year marriage ended, he lost his apartment, and with no one to turn to, he became homeless for 10 months.

Fortunately, he found refuge at Geffner House, Project Renewal’s supportive housing building in Midtown, where he receives medical and case management support. “It’s a small space, but it represents everything I value and need. Like Dr. Who’s telephone booth, there’s an infinite universe behind it,” he says.

The stability of Tedd’s life at Geffner House has allowed him to hone his artistic skills. He has become a prolific—and talented—photographer, and enjoys walking miles through the city to take photos.

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Most of all, Project Renewal has given Tedd hope. “I was in a situation of almost near disaster—homeless, from a winter into a summer and into a new winter, with no way out that I could see,” he remembers. “I finally had some good luck and I grabbed it and held on for dear life, literally. Project Renewal and Geffner House were major players in that desperate time of my life.”