Martin: "Are you out on the street?”

D-Rock: “I've been out on the street for the last four and a half, five years. Actually I live right up there on the street [on the sidewalk]. They kick us out at 6:00am in the morning so we pretty much are very sleep deprived. Because once you get to go to sleep at about three or four, the cops wake you up to tell you to get out. And everybody has to get up at six so everybody’s like a walking zombie. It's pretty bad.”

M: “Can you take a nap sometimes somewhere near here?”

D: “You can't sleep nowhere. If you’re homeless and you sleep, you get a ticket, the lottery. It's a two hundred fifty dollar fine. You get three of those, you get put in jail and you have to serve your time to pay that fine off. So no, you can’t.”

M: “How much time do you get for loitering?”

D: “You have to pay off the seven hundred fifty dollars.”

M: “If you can’t pay it then…?”

D: “You have to stay in jail and that's it. So no, you can't go to sleep. And they make sure they go to every park, they go everthwere , every library, and they wake you up. They either wake you up or you'll wake up with a ticket strapped to ya and that's that. Yup, that's our life.”

© 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.