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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.

we're making a book

As St. Louis’s story continues to be written, we want to take a snapshot of the past 5 years the way that we always have — one photo and story at a time. Typically, the Humans of St. Louis posts only get a day of playtime on the page. But the stories are still relevant and timely and enjoyed by so many.

So we’re making a book! We’re self-publishing, and we’re keeping it local, from the stories to the team of creatives, from the printer to the distributor. And we’d like to invite you to join us to make something truly unique of, by, and for St. Louis!

This curated hardcover book of over 250 first-person portraits and stories about St. Louisans will feature stories of individuals from diverse backgrounds, interlace historical context unique to St. Louis and reveal factual contemporary social issues relevant to the thematic objectives of the stories.  

Join us at

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Humans of St. Louis, one photo and story at a time. 

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All my friends and neighbors are on HOSTL lately and it is just the best. Clearly HOSTL and I know how to spot ‘em! - Hannah S.

We need more of these sidewalk cafe discussions!! Get to know our neighbors, their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. - Terry G.

And this is how communities are built and changed, guys and dolls. - Julie O.