Just because you don’t see homeless people on the streets does not mean that they don’t exist in your community.
That’s one of the major lessons I hope people learn from the InvisiblePeople.tv Road Trip. This weekend I visited Fayetteville, Arkansas, a small town of roughly 70,000 people. From the outside, it seems like the perfect place to settle down and raise a family. But within the town boundaries, hidden in campsites in wooded areas, 50-80 homeless people reside in small encampments.
Tom is one of those “campers.” He says his story is common. Five years ago, he came home from work to find that his wife had packed up everything and left him. He got drunk and missed work. The next day, he was fired and just a month later, he was homeless.
If there is a silver lining in Tom’s story, it is that he holds on to hope for a better future. While he is quick to acknowledge how difficult and depressing his situation is, he said won’t stop trying to get out of it.
No matter where you are reading this, homelessness is only a few miles away.
Special thanks to The Cobblestone Project