Published Nov 7, 2017 at 10:21 AM | Updated at 10:22 AM EST on Nov 7, 2017
It's easy to walk past the homeless, to disregard the guy lying on the street or ignore the woman standing at an intersection holding a handwritten sign with a plea for help.
It's harder to look away when you've seen their eyes.
Look past lines drawn by hard living or the still-soft skin of someone young but struggling to break the cycle of dependency or abuse.
Their eyes hint at lost promise or offer a glimmer of hope. Some are haunting, some placid. Others troubled or masking troubles. Some are warm and tender; others tough and anxious.
You wonder: Why did they end up here? How do they get by on so little? What do they need to get back on their feet?
The questions don't always have easy answers. Solutions are not always available. The extent of someone's past troubles can be impossible to know.
As part of its project looking at the homeless crisis on the West Coast, AP photographer Jae Hong went to Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles to shoot intimate portraits of the people with no permanent homes. He used a special lens to focus on their eyes.
Here are the stories those people told.