Ivory Sears

Ivory: “A lot of shelters have bed bugs. That’s why I stay away from shelters. I just eat at the shelters, I don’t sleep at the shelters. I’d rather sleep outdoors somewhere. I know I have clean linen and stuff in my suitcase. I carry my house with me. It’s my suitcase. I sleep right up the street. I say 'I’m gonna keep on keeping on.' It keeps my health and strength up, do what I need to do daily. Stay with the word, stay with the man upstairs."
© 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.