The homeless are easy to pass by on the street. It’s harder when you look into their eyes. Behind each person is a story that however vague offers some glimpse into their lives.
As part of a project looking at the homeless crisis on the West Coast, AP photographer Jae C. Hong (@jaechongpix) traveled to Seattle, San Francisco and to Los Angeles to shoot intimate portraits of the people with no permanent homes. He used a special lens to focus on their eyes. For the next few days, we are sharing the stories behind some of those eyes:
Home: Streets of Los Angeles
Across from the elegant Millennium Biltmore hotel, Moi Williams reclined on his side, resting on an elbow on concrete steps leading to a park in the heart of downtown Los Angeles.
Rather than stand out in contrast to the business people hustling by or commuters heading home, he fits in as one of the many homeless people who idle their days in Pershing Square.
Williams’ stare is as empty as the details he offers about his life.
He said he’s been on the streets three or four years. His beard and hair are starting to gray and a cigarette is propped behind his left ear.
He had a job, but “it just got away,” he said. He figured he’d find another, but it never came along. “I’m not fighting, like I used to,” he said. “When I was younger, before I got a job, I used to fight a lot.” Now he is trying to beat drugs and alcohol.
Williams would like a place to live and some money, but said he doesn’t stay at shelters and hasn’t signed up for any public assistance. For now, he’s mostly comfortable where he is. “I’m not bothering nobody,” Williams said. “I’m not being bothered.” #APPhoto @jaechongpix
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Story by Jae C. Hong and @brianmelley
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