Los Angeles, USA

Eva and Lawrence

Photography and storytelling: Tony Dočekal
28-01-2021
Est. 2 minutes

Parked in the neighborhood of Miracle Mile, Los Angeles is Eva. Eva, a Hungarian born in 1950, has traveled across the United States eight times in her car, which she now sleeps in at night. It is her home.

Her car is her refuge, but it does not protect her from everything. Eva explained, “I’m not saying it’s a perfect solution, but you feel much more protected if you’re inside and you lock all the doors. And a little bit warmer in wintertime, when the wind is blowing”.

Listen to Eva

“Better check your locks a hundred times” Eva confessed. “Once they stole my beautiful bag, my papers, my money, plus my gold St. Christopher coin, all the change, my phone, my car keys, everything you need, my whole life. I was just closing my eyes, waiting for Lawrence, who went to the supermarket… and as I looked up, the purse was gone. They took it. I almost died. All my papers, from social security to my bank card… everything.”

“Honestly, I’ve never seen America like this. For me, America was always a good husband, a good provider. I never suffered like this here.”

Eva, commenting on how the Covid-19 pandemic has made circumstances more threatening.

Every morning, Eva reads a page from ‘Dance First. Think Later’, a book she keeps in her car. Staying positive is not always easy, so this ritual gives her some light for the day ahead. And, since meeting Lawrence, happiness has come by more easily.

Eva met Lawrence over two and a half years ago when he was sitting in front of a grocery store, and they have been inseparable since. “Each night whenever he sleeps, I’m with him,” says Eva. She has extended her home to Lawrence even though he prefers to sleep outside.

When it rains, Eva arranges the car for Lawrence to sleep in. “I set it up for him with a fluffy blanket and pillows. He doesn’t have to do anything, he’s an old man now”.

Eva’s care and consideration humbled us; her circumstances should have hardened her yet her love was abundant.

“I’m the luckiest person alive.”

Eva, commenting on meeting Lawrence.

Help people like Eva and Lawrence

With your periodic donation, we can continue to produce sustainable Sheltersuits, create more jobs and offer warmth and dignity to the most vulnerable people.

Donate now

Newsletter signup

Don't want to miss Sheltersuit updates? Sign up now for our newsletter!

About this project

For this ongoing project, we engage with unhoused communities in various cities, amidst an unbiased global pandemic. The intimate documentary reflects the unraveling of society and exposes the equal measures of strength and vulnerability of each of its characters.

By capturing these raw moments in a new light, we challenge the mainstream representation of an ever-increasing, forgotten group of individuals. It reminds us that people who experience homelessness should neither be labeled nor disregarded. Each person has a story to tell.