These pics were taken 17 years ago in December of 2000 in Downtown, Los Angeles, CA.
I would drive from Ontario, CA to Downtown Los Angeles to distribute my 1DOWN Magazine, and pass out VIP passes to the newly opened Spearmint Rhino Gentlemen’s Club in Los Angeles, CA.
Well, during my days of walking around the Downtown Los Angeles area I started to have daily interactions with the Homeless people and soon I learned how to actually communicate with them and ultimately get to know them and hear their stories.
I noticed if I said hello to them they did not bother to respond, but if I said hello do you want $1.00, they would stop and say “yes”. So I figured I would use that as my bait and pay them for their time.
I would tell them I would pay them $1 for 1 question with the max being 5 questions. The crazy thing is that MOST ALL of them stopped at 1 question cause they didn’t like speaking too much on themselves.
It was really an amazing adventure talking and meeting these people. I heard so many real life stories that just blew me away. I met a homeless man that said he lost his job 20 years ago and he lived in Texas at the time but on the day he lost his job he got in his car and drove to California, never going home to his wife & daughter. He said he drove to California to hide & die. Said he lived in his car until it got towed away and for 17 years he’s been living in the streets never knowing anything about his wife or daughter. Another guy said his Dad left him over a Million dollars in a Trust Account back in the early 90’s but he refused to take the money cause his family hated him for getting the money and they didn’t so he left and been in the streets since then. He showed me his old ID and said all he has to do is go to the bank but he never will.
I asked one of them why do they sleep in the middle of the Sidewalk during the day time? He said “cause nobody gonna fuck you in the ass or murder you right there in the middle of the Sidewalk during the day time, but if you do sleep behind some building out of sight you might not ever be seen again.”
I asked one of them how can he walk right up to the trash can and pull out a bag and start eating what ever is in it? He said “All these people are on lunch break going back to work and they didn’t eat all their food so I know it’s fresh and they mouth is cleaner than mine!”
I ask this woman who was walking in front oh me, Why did she just lean up against the wall, pull up her dress, spread her legs and pee in front of everyone on the sidewalk? She said ain’t nobody gonna rape her in front of hundreds of people walking up & down the street, but if she goes behind a building she could get raped or killed. She said yes she’s homeless & not clean but a dirty mutherfucker will rape her.
All these people have stories. All of them lived a normal life at one point until they hit a crossroad that took them on a journey they never returned home from.
The very first photo is actually a guy I would say became my friend. That’s my Range Rover in the back with the 1DOWN sticker in the window. He told me he got government checks monthly and he would spend it on prostitutes & drugs. He told me if he ever had the opportunity to get his life together he would rather stay in the streets. He said he don’t want a cellphone, bills, rent, car payment, insurance, gas, and he don’t want to care about politics. “I could see his point, but his life isn’t for me.”
I told myself within the next few months im gonna take a ride through Downtown Los Angeles to see if I see any of these folks. I have MANY MANY more pics of Downtown homeless people I interacted with but I figured I’d just share a few pics.
Thanks for reading.