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'The Porch Project' captures a challenging moment in American history

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-27 20:38:43-04

KENT, Ohio — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to alter how we live each day, a Kent man is crisscrossing his community to document this monumental moment in American history.

There's less beating in the heart of every town as businesses shutter and people stay home.

However, Roger Hoover is stepping out with a camera and a commitment to bring his neighbors a little closer despite social distancing.

“I’m capturing a small moment in time. We’re all going through it together, it’s much more than photography," said Hoover.

Hoover, who owned a marketing and advertising agency that was focused on small business, lost the majority of his clients when coronavirus hit.

“After a few days of moping, my wife said you’re creative, you’ll find something to do," said Hoover.

The next day, Hoover launched the Porch Project.

The photograph takes seconds, but you’ll see Hoover sticking around much longer to help fill a void we all feel right now.

“People laugh, people cry. I just let people talk and share their story and make an empathetic connection with people," said Hoover.

Jake and Barb Barkley came out of their Pioneer Avenue home Friday morning to be a part of this challenging period in American history.

“Maybe have a couple photos to go back and the kids to show their kids 30-40 years from now to say there was this crazy time that we went through," said Jake Barkley.

Until it’s safe to gather on the front porch with neighbors, Hoover will continue to capture how this pandemic is impacting his neighbors.

“It’s making me feel much more human, and I feel like I’m giving something back to the community," said Hoover.

When the shutter stops clicking for the day and Hoover returns home to edit his photographs, a clear storyline emerges during this uncertain time.

“I see a lot of love. I see it in their faces. Everybody is thinking about everybody else right now," said Hoover.

Hoover said he plans on staying in contact with everyone he’s connecting with long after this crisis ends.

“To see how they reflect back on the time to see how they moved through it all. When you do look back at it, it reveals much more about that moment than you realize while you’re in the moment," said Hoover.