Brian Peterson, 31, is an artist — he designs cars for a living — who lives in Santa Ana, California. Matt Faris, 38, is a homeless musician who would often sit outside Brian’s apartment building.

For several months, Brian passed Matt on his way to and from work. Then, one day, Brian decided to introduce himself. The friendship they would go on to develop would have a surprising influence on them both.


After befriending Matt, Brian started a non-profit called Faces of Santa Ana, for which he paints portraits of people in the homeless community and donates the proceeds from the sales of his work to his subjects.

Matt Faris finished recording his album, Polar Scale, in 2017. It will be available on December 4, 2017.

Originally aired November 3, 2017, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Middle image: Brian Peterson’s portrait of his friend, Matt Faris.