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Life on the Streets

A reporter and a photographer visited homeless encampments across New York City, interviewing dozens of people, from teenagers to those in their 70s. Some had serious medical conditions; one woman was pregnant. They spoke of job losses, mental health issues, substance abuse and problems with the city shelter system that drove them to the streets.

Jose Morales and his 17-year-old girlfriend, Kimberly Williams, who is five months pregnant, had built a shelter out of a blanket tethered to a fence, underneath the No. 4 train.

Mr. Morales said he grew up in a troubled home in the Bronx and eventually attended high school at a residential treatment center for drug and alcohol addiction. When he got out, he went into foster care with a family in Brooklyn, because his mother had been sent to prison on drug charges. He rebelled.

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