S.C. teen's photos give face to the homeless

(CBS News) SUMMERVILLE, S.C. - A lot of folks act as if they don't see the homeless on the streets of America. But in South Carolina, there is a teenager who sees them in a way few others can.

Victoria Turner
Victoria Turner
CBS News

Sixteen-year-old Victoria Turner has wanted to own a business since she was seven. She loves taking pictures, so she put together a plan for a photography business and entered her high school's teen entrepreneur competition. Each contestant had to give back to the community, and Turner chose photographing homeless families at no charge.

"Everybody has some type of beauty, and I just want to show that to the world and make them feel great about themselves," she said.

Turner's plan was big on doing good, but short on making money.

"I would say it's not on the profit side," she said. "It's more on the non-profit side as of right now."

Living on the streets, but at home on Twitter

Turner told the judges she chose photographing the homeless because as a young girl, she and her mother briefly lived in a shelter. Now, she wanted to give back.

Victoria Turner, 16, takes a picture of two homeless boys in Summerville, S.C.
Victoria Turner, 16, takes a picture of two homeless boys in Summerville, S.C.
CBS News

That caught the attention of some of the judges, including Margie Pizarro, a successful local attorney.

"I just said there is no way in the world we can let this girl leave here without doing something for her," said Pizarro. "Someone has got to do something to help her."

Pizarro knew firsthand what Turner was talking about.

Sandra Dangerfield
Sandra Dangerfield
CBS News

"The way I grew up, I was a single parent home and you know, my mom didn't have a lot of resources. But there were people that helped us along the way," she said.

Turner did not win the competition, but the judges gave her an award for "Most Heart," which included a $250 prize.

She used the money to buy clothes for homeless families to wear in their photo sessions.

Sandra Dangerfield and her four children have spent 5 months in shelters over the past year.

"I'll never forget this, what she is doing," Dangerfield said. "It melts my heart."

Turner wants to go to college and get a business degree. But she said her business will always be less about making money and more about helping people in need.

One of Victoria Turner's pictures of homeless families living in Summerville, S.C.
One of Victoria Turner's pictures of homeless families living in Summerville, S.C.
CBS News

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.

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