In 2005, the only thing hurting Los Angeles Times columnist and recent bike accident victim Steve Lopez more than his banged-up face, was his pressing need for story ideas. He soon discovers Nathaniel Ayers, a skid row schizophrenic street musician, who possesses extraordinary talent - even though he only has half-broken instruments to play. Inspired by Nathaniel's story, Lopez writes an acclaimed series of articles about him and attempts to do more to help both him, and the rest of the underclass of L.A. have a better life. Lopez's good intentions run headlong into Nathaniel's personal demons and the larger issues of social injustice facing the homeless. Regardless, Lopez and Nathaniel find a way to conquer their deepest anxieties and frustrations. Nathaniel is from the Hough area of Cleveland.