Martin: “David, where are you from?"

David: “Colorado."

M: "It’s gorgeous out there. What brings you to California?"

D: "Family. My immediate family."

M: "But you live in the streets?"

D: “Yeah."

M: "What brings you to the streets?"

D: "Drugs just kinda took over and after awhile…"

M: "Drugs took over and they kicked you out?"

D: "Actually, I left by myself."

M: "What drugs did you get into, crystal?"

D: "Yeah. I’ve been actually sober though from it."

M: "How long have you been sober?"

D: "About four months now."

M: "Totally clean?"

D: “Mhm."

M: "What is your plan, are you going to contact your family again maybe?"

D: "I’m trying to."

M: "What are they saying?"

D: "They don’t want to talk to me right now."

M: "They are pissed off that you left?"

D: “Mhm."

M: "Do you think you can win them over?"

D: "It’ll take awhile but I got nothin’ but time now. When it comes to my family, I ain’t got nothin’ but time to do what it takes to get ‘em back.” 
© 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.