Photos:

This is me before the project. This is a photo of me during the project. I'm diabetic, so I had to make sure I packed enough diabetes supplies. This is me before I went to the streets for the first time. This is a photo of where I slept. Coming home after the project seemed so foreign

The project:

This project tracks and records the lives of squatters, or dirty kids, in Gainesville.

Squatting involves living on the streets, in abandoned buildings or with anybody who will house you.

Squatters travel from town to town by hitchhiking, train hopping or any other way they can figure out.

While there is always a risk with the police, violence or being taken advantage of, many squatters feel it's the only way to live.

About me

Jamie Pantazi Esmond is the main reason I did this project.

My sister Jamie is a squatter, and I hope this project has allowed me to connect with her.

Jamie is my 25-year-old sister, and she is a squatter.

I have five siblings; it's hard keeping in touch with family while at college, especially with the family spread out around the country.

For Jamie and I, it's almost impossible since she is never in the same place for too long.

Also, I don't understand her all that well.

I mean, she prefers living in abandoned buildings, eating out of dumpsters and always meeting new people to having a stable life with a normal job and interacting with the same people every day.

I love college, I enjoy working, and I love to cook fresh food.

So I decided to throw a wrench in my life. I decided that I'd study the squatter lifestyle, so I can connect with my sister on this level.

Who am I?

My name is Andrew Pantazi. I am a junior at the University of Florida, and I am getting a degree in journalism and a degree in family, youth and community sciences. I have two loving parents, five crazy siblings, a noble dog and some of the most faithful friends that always care for me when I need it.

If you want to find out more about me, then visit my personal Web site.