Subscribe to our RSS feed

The Latest Stories By Louis "Kengi" Carr

  • Lots to be thankful for and lots to challenge us as 2017 opens.
  • World AIDS Day; Normalizing the conversation
  • Living on a tight budget :
  • Equal access and equal voices: where?
  • Abundance

Louis "Kengi" Carr


Louis "Kengi" Carr is a California native, born and raised in Santa Monica. He is a published photographer, writer and guest speaker. Formerly a private chef and events caterer, this formerly homeless, HIV positive, proud Angelino is now a activist and advocate for people with HIV and homeless individuals. He is the creator/founder of Project Kengikat, Do Something Saturday, Unplugging HIV and the author of 29 Months.

A lover of photography, blogging and vlogging and USC Football, Kengi has been rediscovering his love for Los Angeles, ceramics, painting and cooking while elevating the conversations of HIV and homelessness. He enjoys being outdoors, spending quality time with his friends and his amazing rescue dog Dodger.



Wednesday, 29 June 2016 Written by // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent Categories // Social Media, Activism, Arts and Entertainment, International , Living with HIV, Opinion Pieces, Louis "Kengi" Carr

"Happy, content and thriving," our LA guy Kengi reflects on how he got there - with a tip of the hat to


I’m sitting inside a McDonald’s on a hot Saturday afternoon and I’m thinking to myself just how different my life is. I just left the Reef where my gallery is located. Imagine that, I’m a gallery owner. This is pretty crazy when you think that I once stood outside this location begging for something to eat during my 29 months of homelessness. Today I simply walked in and paid with no problem whatsoever.

Not only that, as I sit here I’m recalling the nights I slept in the dirt in front of the courthouse directly across from the Reef. Now years later I’m entering my third month of having a gallery space on the Maker City LA floor.

I have a new doctor and clinic now. Last week was my first lab results follow-up appointment. I had joked with my doctor in our first appointment that there would be nothing for us to discuss. When he walked in he says “well you were right…. there’s really nothing to discuss.” We both laughed and he presented me with the best lab results I’ve had since being diagnosed on April 3, 2008. I was completely blown away, even though I’ve never had a bad visit or bad results for that matter. My viral load is still undetectable, but my T-cells are over 1200. Everything else was stellar as well. Imagine that, over 1200 T-cells. This means I made the right decision to change my medication from Stribld to Genvoya.

I must say being a gallery owner has been awesome, but it is a great deal of work. Far more than I ever thought it would. The hardest thing is creating this gallery with absolutely no startup funds and having to ask my friends to help me out. Asking friends for money is not easy for me. To be honest I hate it. It gives me the feeling of being less than or needy.

While momentum and support is growing and the events have been successful, revenue has been lacking which means I have to wear several different hats all at once and this makes it hard to plan and focus on gallery shows and exhibits. Like I said it has been a great deal of work, some very long nights and even a few tears here and there, but I love what I am doing and what I’ve created.

Besides the gallery the other big thing in my life is that after nearly seven years in my apartment here in Hollywood, I’m going to be moving. Last week I started looking at new places to live. June 29, will mark the day I got my keys to this apartment seven years ago. Hard to believe it’s been so long.

Since we’re on the subject of good things in my life, I should really talk about the fact that I’ve been writing for for over five years. I remember when Bob first approached me to do a piece on me  and soon after he asked if I wanted to write. I was completely taken by surprise, but the entire experience with Bob and has been a complete surprise. I feel at home and welcome here. I feel like my voice is heard and that I am free to share the stories of people who are often seen, but not heard. No other place has ever welcomed or treated me the way Bob and have and this is just one more thing that’s so right in my life.  

Things are good, my health is awesome, I’m surrounded by great people and for the first time in a very long time I can say that I am happy, content and thriving. I’m still broke. I still struggle each and every month to pay my rent and bills, but I won’t let any of this prevent me from living and having a great life filled with abundance.