1601 Brighton Road: A Post-Gazette documentary

In Focus Video

Northside Common Ministries is housed in a big former church on Brighton Avenue. Post-Gazette photographer Steve Mellon drove by it all the time.

He was familiar with its services, but had never talked to the residents of the Pleasant Valley Men’s Shelter, which houses 25 men who are homeless 365 nights a year, or other people who get services at the facility.
“I was curious about the people. I was curious about their stories,” he said.

In February, he went inside and talked to executive director Jay Poliziani, who was open to the idea of letting Steve, his video camera, and fellow photographer Stephanie Strasburg have access to residents/clients who wanted to be involved.

“For a long time I’ve had this interest in going to find stories that are usually ignored — not just by us but by everyone,” he said.

The results are in a compelling video in which the people at 1601 Brighton Road tell their stories unflinchingly. Visit post-gazette.com to see the video.

Lillian Thomas