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Documenting humans of Southeast Texas
According to a few national surveys, Beaumont has been tabbed the fattest city, The saddest city and the worst place to live.
One Southeast Texan who was headed for greener pastures, until the very people who make up what some say is the worst city made him realize our city is really a golden piece of humanity.
"I run a Facebook page called Humans of Southeast Texas, I go around documenting people you mind if I document you? 'That's fine,' " Dakota Courville asks strangers as he walks the streets.
The Port Arthur native is 23 years old.
He's goes around Southeast Texas, searching for Humans.
He finds people, talks to them, snaps a picture, then posts it, along with a little about the person, to Facebook.
"I'm trying to engage people who are sitting on the sidelines to other people's live that you would never ever want to talk to," Courville said.
He started Humans of Southeast Texas and in only a couple of weeks, he's gained more than a thousand followers.
"I'm trying to use this project to change myself and my image of what this community is and what it could actually be," Courville said.
He wants to break down barriers that divide Southeast Texas.
"You just talk to people, you know, they really aren't evil," Courville said.
"They're doing a story on me about the page I run and I was wondering if you'll let me take your picture again, alright, how have you been doing Ray? Oh hanging in there," Courville asks another stranger.
Courville says he met this homeless man a few weeks ago.
"Ray, you haven't broken my camera yet, you can keep talking," Courville says jokingly.
Once he's done, he moves onto the next human.
"I run a Facebook page called Humans of Southeast Texas and I take pictures of everybody and I want you to share your story, can I take a couple of photos of you? Sure," he says to another stranger.
Some people open right up.
"My greatest fear? Not making enough money," Robert from Bill's shop said.
Revealing their fears and what makes them smile.
"What's the first time you remember being happy? Everyday. Why? Cause I ain't married no more man," Courville and Robert interchanged.
The story of our community, the faces of Southeast Texas.
"Good talking to you Robert, hope you make some more money," Courville says.
Dakota Courville was inspired by a similar site, Humans of New York.
He is taking donations to purchase a new camera after his fell and broke during an interview, to help him out click here.