Martin: "BuNae, where are you from?”

BuNae: "I’m from Hollywood, California. I was born here in Los Angeles."

M: "Do you come to the food line a lot?"

B: "Yeah, I do."

M: "Do you have a place you call home these days?"

B: "Yeah. I’m kind of struggling to make it. I lost my best friend. I was taking care of him and he was really sick. He died, he committed suicide about eight weeks ago. He died. And well he was very sick. He had Parkinson’s disease for about thirty-five years. He had paranoid schizophrenia, you know, mentally he was hearing voices…He killed himself. Took a bunch of codeine threes, a bunch of ‘em. But I took care of him and I stuck with him for twenty-seven years. He paid all the bills and everything. He was on SSI.” .
© 2024 Martin Schoeller


On the street corner of Sycamore and Romaine in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Martin photographed the homeless throughout 2015 for Hollywood Food Coalition (formerly known as the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition), which was co-founded by friends Ted and Penny Landreth. The coalition provides many services, but notably, they have been serving hot meals made from scratch every single day for over thirty years. Through partnering with the Hollywood Food Coalition, Martin photographed and interviewed over three hundred individuals.

“Most of the people in this series are clients of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. I wanted to give them a face and a voice. The interviews are recorded on my phone and then transcribed. Sometimes it’s a five-minute exchange, other times it’s over an hour - it all depends on how much somebody wants to share with me. The interviews were then condensed to fit the Instagram format, as this series was shared on the platform. Editing is always subjective, but I try to present these interviews as authentically as possible, using only direct quotes from our conversation.

I am very grateful for everyone’s trust and time.”
– Martin Schoeller

For more portraits and stories, please visit Martin’s Instagram here.