Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding


Portraits of Unhoused Life, Love, and Understanding

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As seen through the eyes of photographer Kim Watson, who has spent three years on the streets of Los Angeles documenting his intimate and deeply felt relationships with the unhoused, Trespass offers an honest and unflinching depiction of the beauty and humanity of unhoused life.

According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), nearly 70,000 people were unhoused in the city as of September 2022. Writer, director, and photographer Kim Watson began connecting with these unhoused people near his LA neighborhood by delivering food out of the back of his car. As his relationships grew to become trusted friendships, he began to interview and photograph those he encountered, documenting their experiences. Through profiles, essays, and stunning black-and-white photography, Trespass sheds light on the complex situations that lead to homelessness, the individuals who struggle to rise out of it, and those who have resigned themselves to it. Fueled by a deep sense of care, Watson's portraits capture the hopes and demands of people in need of support and consideration. In this book of extraordinary photo essays, Watson dares us to look inside ourselves and confront our own biases as we consider the conditions of others so, together, we can process our collective trauma and develop sustainable solutions.


"A moving, brave, unflinching, and loving light shined on those who live among us in the shadows." 

--Trey Ellis, writer and filmmaker

"Devastatingly beautiful, brutally honest, a soul-stirring journey."

--Salim Akil, writer, director, and producer

"A riveting, relentless look at one of our major failures as humans." 

--Tommy Davidson, actor, comedian, and musician 

"In a day and age (and in this town and this business) where our lives (consciousnesses) are flooded with visual stimuli in every moment and every media, these images stopped me in my tracks." 

--Peter Onorati, actor, This Is Us, Swat, Goodfellas

"This poetic journey from the depths of isolation to the heights of unconditional love is a majestic expression of how one individual can make a difference."

--Sherry Simpson Dean, Emmy Award-Winning Film Producer, Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony

"An intimate portrait of humanity in the rubble of a society in decline."

--Aria Dean, artist and writer

"Watson's deeply felt reflections on his friends and interactions show how much more we all might gain from not only seeing, but embracing, our unhoused neighbors."  

--Ricky Bluthenthal PhD, Associate Dean for Social Justice, Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California  

"Through the captivating prose of Kim Watson's masterpiece, the vibrant tapestry of Los Angeles comes alive, revealing the intricate threads that humanize its diverse inhabitants and transform a city of strangers into a chorus of interconnected souls." 

--Jennia Fredrique Aponte, artist, and co-founder of Art Melanated 

Through poignant narratives and evocative visuals, Watson unravels the complex lives, struggles, and resilience of individuals within the homeless community. The vivid imagery lays bare the day-to-day challenges, emphasizing the need for compassion and understanding rather than judgment.

--Sol Aponte, co-founder Art Melanated

"Kim Watson's visionary images are augmented by the revealing stories he shares in his fierce book, Trespass." 

--Barbara Bestor, founder of THE BAG LA 

"Kim Watson connects, gets people to open up, and reveals the web of emotions, struggles, and triumphs of people who call the street, tents, or RVs home."

--Ethan Ward, award-winning journalist who once called his car 'home' for a year

"Trespass is a graphic view of homelessness in LA's Skid Row that forces us to face an uncomfortable truth and does not allow us to turn away." 

--Jeremiah Birkett, actor

"In sharing portraits of unhoused citizens of L.A., and telling their stories, Kim Watson reminds us that we are all the heroes we've been waiting for and that no gesture made in kindness and compassion is ever too small." 

--Maribel Marin, executive director of 211 LA 

"There is no 'them' in this book; it's about us, as a people and a society, and Trespass is the bridge that connects us all."  

--John Simmons, cinematographer, ASC  

"These images and text are visceral, very thought-provoking, and timely as we attempt to come to grips with the issue of homelessness and our shared humanity." 

--Kathryn Bostic, Emmy-nominated composer and singer/songwriter 

"Trespass forces us to confront the faces and suffering of some of the countless individuals who make up our unhoused communities."  

--Melisa Chavez, COO, VelNonArt Transformative Health  

"Watson's images reflect the utmost respect for his subjects, never turning away amid unimaginable despair--wildly heartbreaking and affirming all at once--an invitation to recognize ourselves as we reflect on others."

--Melinda Nugent, partner, sunHaus 

"Via Kim's lens, a form of artistic activism, he is assuring our unhoused family they are being seen. And ensuring that the rest of us, too, don't continue to look away."

--Rose Apodaca, cultural anthropologist and author

"With a delicate sincerity and intentional focus, the writer and photographer, Kim Watson, provides glimpses, that produce volumes of insight into an American phenomenon that has yet to be properly addressed. Our problem with the wealthy starts with the challenges of the poor."

--Terrell Tilford, actor/artist, social advocate, founder of Band of Vices and Tilford Art Group

"At a time when so many are tired of seeing homelessness in their communities, near their homes, and in the places that they go, this is a beautiful reminder that these are our neighbors too."

-- William "Bill" Bedrossian, MSW, president & chief executive officer, Covenant House International

Watson's deep compassion and kindness echo throughout the book and come across genuinely in both word and image.

--Rashidi Natara Harper, director

Kim Watson's compassion and love for humanity leaps off the page and urges us all to care more.

--Tony Okungbowa, actor, film producer, and DJ


"The glassy stare of the individual gracing the cover of this publication will mesmerize the viewer and compel further examination of this portrait collection illuminating a societal segment too often spurned and ignored."

City Book Review

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506491134
  • eBook ISBN 9781506491141
  • Dimensions 7.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 218
  • Publication Date May 14, 2024