Charleston artist Joanna Biondolillo is determined to humanize the homeless, to share with viewers of her photographic portraits the backstory that so often is ignored or dismissed.

Biondolillo's exhibit, "When I Was a Child: A National Photo-Documentary on Homelessness in America," will be on view through May 30 in the Saul Alexander Gallery of the Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun St. in downtown Charleston. An opening reception is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Monday, May 7.

The show will move to North Charleston City Hall on July 2 and remain on view until Aug. 31.

The intimate photographs portray homeless people across the country, from Miami to Seattle. With each encounter, Biondolillo asked her subjects about their childhood dreams in order to show the contrast between early ambitions and current circumstances.

"I have been working with our local community to educate others about homelessness in an effort to educate and dispel the many myths surrounding the homeless," Biondolillo wrote in an email. "The goal is to implement practical solutions to end this epidemic."

For more information, go to www.wheniwasachildexhibit.com.

Contact Adam Parker at aparker@postandcourier.com or 843-937-5902.