A model of homelessness
Mark Reay is a good-looking, sharp dresser, working in the fashion business, modeling and doing photography. If you saw him on the street his charm wouldn't escape you. But Mark is homeless.
Reay’s place calls Tompkins Square Park in the East Village his home.
“I would come through this park to maybe brush my teeth using the water fountain, or even use the men’s room here for obvious reasons, or to change from my sleeping clothes into what I call my well-dressed man disguise,” Reay explained.
For six years, Reay has been sleeping on a rooftop in the East Village.
He tells his whole story in a new documentary called "Homme Less," which premiered at the IFC Center, in Greenwich Village, NYC, Friday, August 7th.
In 2008, Reay came back from France completely broke.
He thought he could make some money during New York Fashion Week, and stayed at a hostel in Brooklyn, where he got covered in bedbug bites.
"So now I was really stuck and desperate," Reay said, "And no money to go to a hotel. Friends were out of the question."
He had a spare key to a friend's apartment so he decided to do a little urban camping just a few days.
A few days turned into six years.
Wirthensohn, mentioned that he and Reay have been friends since the '80s.
But it was not until several years ago that he learned the full story.
"We were having a drink in the bar to catch up and I asked, 'Where do you live in the city?' And for then he told me this crazy story and I knew we had to do a film about it," Wirthensohn said.
Wirthensohn captured Reay’s highs and lows taking pictures at Fashion Week, working in movies including "Men in Black III," and also the day-to-day struggles like where he slept, where he shaved to get ready for the day, and the YMCA where he kept his belongings.