Skid Row Series

In the afternoon of Christmas Day, 1981, I had gotten off work and went to Skid Row, because I read that some Hollywood celebrities went down there with television cameras in tow to cover and promote their good deeds for the community, like serving hot meals to the homeless. Before Skid Row became known for its homage for the homeless population, it was a locale for transient laborers who stayed at the several residential hotels. Since the 1930s, following the Great Depression, the locale continued to deteriorate. 

When I photographed the Skid Row areas in the 1980s, I remember 3rd Street all the way to 7th Street and Alameida all the way to Main Streets as being the refuge for the homeless. I think it still is, but there are also new residential properties built. Many of these photographs I began as an exploration into a sub-culture of which I had an uninformed opinion and perspective about. 

I spent the greater part of the 1980s revisiting many of the places and people you see in these photographs. I never asked people their names, just their permission and kept a distance from them as I had not yet developed a trust with my subjects in these images.