When I went down to 7th and Olympic in West Los Angeles I was looking for a guy I’d heard gave food to the homeless there every afternoon. I was going to see if he could give me any leads on people living in their cars. He wasn’t there that day but Charles and his wife Delores were.
As I spoke to them they told me very openly and simply how they had ended up on the streets. They told me how they had been living in their van for the last 6 months after they lost their home they how they had to keep moving around town every few days to avoid their vehicle being towed. How Charles had to go round with a gas can at filling stations begging people for a little petrol to keep the van running.
The van was old and barely ran, doors were held shut with a bungee cord. A window on the side was missing so at night they draped a sheet over the side of the car for some meagre privacy and protection from the weather. The back was packed with all the clothes and belongings they could fit.
They told me how Charles earned a small income as a carer for his sick wife, Delores, and how they looked through the free newspapers every week for medical trials to take part in to earn some extra cash.
After spending some time talking with them I made some pictures and recorded a short interview with Charles, I’ve combined the two in this audio slideshow where you can hear Charles tell this story in his own words.
View these photos in the Gallery