We believe personal stories have the power to inspire connectivity and evoke compassion for each other.

who we are

Humans of St. Louis (HOSTL) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that shares first-person stories and photographic portraits, featuring people and places throughout St. Louis.

HOSTL gives over 95,000 Facebook and 20,000 Instagram followers an intimate look into the lives and struggles of the people of St. Louis, one photo and story at a time. It is the second most popular “Humans of” site in the U.S. after Humans of New York.

Stories highlight areas of economic growth, philanthropy, and small businesses. They also address race, racial equity, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, community, family, youth, aging, health, disease, education, discrimination, homelessness, poverty, cultural awareness, and more. The project is intentionally grounded in social work, public health, and documentary photography.

A very special thank you to Brandon Stanton, original creator of Humans of New York who allows the Humans of movement to flourish!


HOSTL AS A 501(c)(3)

HOSTL’s mission is to leverage visual-virtual storytelling through organic interviews and photography that highlight local needs, issues, and experiences from people in the St. Louis community and to share these photostories with a broader audience to promote social good and community development. We’re committed to fostering a respectful online community where storytelling is the platform for discussion about topics like life, love, St. Louis, current events, economic development, public health, and social justice.

We have a small budget and a small team, and we make a large social impact. Next year we plan to increase both by having a call for more storytellers and expand our board.

We sustain ourselves with the help of volunteers, donations, grants, print purchases, and paid storytelling collaborations.

We collaborate with other non-profits, small businesses, schools, and organizations to present, consult and teach the Humans of St. Louis storytelling style and talk about the art of interviewing and documentary photography.

hostl in the news

STL ain’t perfect but it’ll always be home, and these pictures and stories make me feel a bit closer to home even if I’m 8,000 miles away. Fiona R.