The Sheltersuit Foundation aims to change the representation of the growing group of people experiencing homelessness around the world, while improving their everyday lives.

To date, Sheltersuit has produced and donated over 15.000 Sheltersuits and Shelterbags to keep people warm and dry while living on the street. While handing out our products, we realized it gave us a unique opportunity to get close to people who are unseen by most of us.

In this magazine, you’ll meet a few of them. Their stories stand for those of whom we hear too little.

Photography + interviews: Tony Dočekal
Graphic design and hand lettering: Rosa de Jong

Tony and I distributed hundreds of Sheltersuits and documented the stories of the people we’ve met. I believe telling their stories is the first step to making a change.

Bas Timmer, founder of Sheltersuit
Sandra (60) in New York City, USA

Sandra talks to us about the Gift of Sleep

Sandra (60) has lived in Montana with her husband and 2 children for most of her life. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, it changed everything. Her marriage of 33 years came to an end, and she was put in a protection program in Portland. Thereafter, she moved to New York and has been homeless for almost 7 years.

“The hardest part of being homeless is exhaustion. I call sleep ‘the gift of sleep’ because it’s so hard to get.” – Sandra

Inge and her husband Björn in Arnhem, The Netherlands

The lovestory of Inge and Björn

Inge and her husband Björn were evicted after the unexpected death of their foster father and mentor. The couple, former sailors, are resilient and strong. But after almost 3 years of illegal camping, they long for a roof over their heads.

“We came back from the cremation and were unable to enter the house. We weren’t even allowed to take our stuff out. ” – Inge

Unsheltered Moments Paris
Alexander in Paris, France

Alexandre, his cat and his treasure

Meet Alexandre. For the past four years, Alexandre has been homeless on the streets of Paris. For a while, he found safety and security in a social housing estate, but after the building was sold, he had nowhere else to turn. Many years ago, Alexandre was a mariner who traveled around the world.

“I didn’t care much for New York or London… Rotterdam, I loved it! But, Paris is my home, this is where my heart is.” – Alexander

Tony Docekal
Tony working her magic in South Africa

Meet our storyteller

Tony Dočekal (Amsterdam, 1992) graduated from ArtEZ Enschede in 2015 and won the Olympus Young Talent Award in 2018.

Tony captures social situations in a way that invites further interpretation. Her work refers to the larger social issues of our time. After meeting our founder Bas, in 2019, while doing an artist residency at KALA Art Institute in Berkeley (CA), she has worked as a photographer and storyteller for Sheltersuit Foundation.

Tony has made both journalistic and autonomous work, constantly exploring the boundary between observation and perception.

Check her website for more.