LOS ANGELES has the highest homeless rates in the developed world. In a place that worships diamonds, fast cars, and red carpets, a more sinister undercurrent of crime, addiction, and mental illness has taken grip of the city. These conditions affect men, women, and children alike. This gallery came together while on assignment for numerous nonprofits in Los Angeles.
Street Outreach programs have afforded me a rare glimpse into the lives of those who sleep on the streets. Rife with addiction and mental illness, this community is hard to penetrate and even harder to document. Approaching subjects on the streets of LA has become a delicate art. I had to be well versed on all topics of incarceration, addiction, and health. I had to navigate the streets with care, having a few close encounters with gangs and people out of control on cocktails of hard drugs. An acute street knowledge helped me get on the level of the people I was photographing, and dismantled any apprehensions they had about me taking photos. In an attempt to get more candid and intimate photos, I never shoot a person before having a friendly chat and getting to know them a little better.
I hope these photos afford some insight into the reality of being homeless.