A few months ago, Sustaynabl reached out to me and asked me to be part of a project called “THE ART OF SKID ROW”. “The Art of Skid Row” is a photo book consisting of portraits and stories of homeless people throughout LA. 100% of the profits made from the book will go towards the development of affordable housing for the less fortunate. It will be available at The Last Bookstore in Downtown LA. I am fortunate in being able to use my art for such a great cause.
The people I interviewed and took portaits of all live on the streets of Downtown LA. Many of them became homeless for several reasons and are facing countless challenges of surviving without a home and no means of income. It is hard to believe a beautiful city such as Los Angeles leads the nation in homelessness.
I met Chris while walking in Downtown one night. He was in a shopping cart which caught my attention. Chris told me that the bottom of his feet hurt whenever he stood or walked that’s why he sits in his cart. Originally from Orgeon, he moved to California 20 years ago and has been homeless off and on ever since. He mention being in and out of a mental hospital and no longer qualified for services. After about ten minutes of speaking with him, his voice changed into a child’s voice and he introduced me to “little Christopher, the middle child of three”. He snapped out of it and expressed that he had multiple personalities which comes out sometimes.
Originally from Pamona, Shaggy has been homeless since the age of 18. He became homeless due to drug addiction. I always see him along Broadway whenever I am out in Downtown shooting. Every time he sees me, he always wants me to take his picture. Shaggy is a funny guy and is always a pleasure talking to.
I first met Michael walking down Spring St. in the Old Bank District of Downtown Los Angeles in November. He was occupying a bus bench and was looking for cans in the nearby trash can.
This is a photo of Michael. I first met him in November during the Downtown Artwalk and at the time he wore a white padded jacket. I took a photo of him that first time meeting him and can be seen in my earlier posts. During the month of March, I decided to go to Downtown after work to pass out some meals. At the time, I worked at a high school and usually had large amounts of left over meals from the school’s lunch program. The meals were just going to be thrown away so I decided to give them away to people who needed it. One of those people was Michael. I was happy to see him again but noticed he was wearing the same exact jacket. The white padded jacket he wore was now dirty and worn.
I met this man on the corner of 4th st. and Hill St. People call him “Bull Horn” and is originally from Arizona. He grew up in a ranch for most of his life. Bull Horn showed me a box of instant light charcoals used for the hookah. As he points to them, he says “These right here keep me warm at night, I love them!” I used to own a hookah myself and have bought charcoal many times but never would I have imagined them being used to keep someone warm. Living on the streets with little to no resources requires some innovation in order to survive.
I was driving along Beverly Blvd. and noticed a small street overcrowded with tents and personal belongings. I decided to drop off some food and toothbrushes and met D-Boy. He lives in one of the tents along with his uncle and father. It’s hard to imagine having to live in such conditions. This is just one of thousands of encampments throughout LA county.
A man with an amputated leg was singing on the sidewalk of Broadway as I was walking one Sunday afternoon. He said his name was Raymond also known as “Yellow Foot” due to the color of the rod on his foot.
I was walking down Spring during Art Walk in November, Dave was standing in front of a food truck gathering and counting his change hoping to buy food. I offered him money so he can buy something to eat. He smiled in return and said “God bless you”.