Sylvester | Invisible People

Sylvester


Yes, I too am guilty of stereotyping homeless people. I almost didn’t talk to Sylvester. From a distance he looked a little “unstable”. After a morning of making new friends in Atlanta, I had one […]

Sylvester

Yes, I too am guilty of stereotyping homeless people. I almost didn’t talk to Sylvester. From a distance he looked a little “unstable”. After a morning of making new friends in Atlanta, I had one pair of socks left. I started to cross the street so I would not have to pass him, yet became conscious of what I was doing so I walked back. I didn’t plan on rolling the camera. I was simply going to give him the last pair of socks and move on.

Sylvester’s story is one of the reasons InvisiblePeople.tv exists. His story is powerful. When I walked away I was in tears. Off camera Sylvester told me he was raped at 15 by the group leader of the foster home he was living in. I felt his pain.

Sylvester describes discrimination on the streets. He looks right into the camera and asks “what makes you better than me?”

Please watch this powerful interview.

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  • http://twitter.com/BradEMelton Brad Melton

    Powerful indeed. Mark, I suspect you believe like I do, God turned you around to visit with Sylvester because He had a message to deliver to us through him. That man delivered a truckload of truth. I wish Atlanta were a little closer so I could visit with Sylvester. I think I’d learn a lot from him while doing my darndest to show him how I know I’m not any different, let alone any better than him.

  • Skeptical

    I watch all of Marks films and I am glad that he is highlighting these issues. But dont attribute somebody of conscience turning around to the work of a higher being. Thats ridiculous. God has nothing better to do then to send Brad Melton a message through Sylvester the homeless man to Mark then through YouTube before finally getting to your ears? Please.

  • http://hardlynormal.com hardlynormal

    Actually, I agree with both of you

    Brad is a great guy who has truly helped the homeless cause. If he believes God spoke to him through this than who are we to say that is wrong!

    Skeptical, thanks for watching all the videos. It’s through support like yours that keeps this all going. If you don’t believe a higher being can speak through a personal story who are we to say you are wrong!

    what I can tell you is that real change happens after people are touched by these stories. And that is AWESOME!

    Faith-based jargon can be “spooky” and often turns people off. I am faith-based but work hard to not talk like that. People don’t mean any harm when they use the “G” word, and to be honest that is their right.

    This is not a Christian vlog. Most churches talk and do not take any real action to influence change. This vlog is all about action.

    This is also a place where open conversation is encouraged. All faiths, or no faith at all, are welcome to share as they want to share. It’s through conversation we will find understanding.

  • http://hardlynormal.com hardlynormal

    Actually, I agree with both of you

    Brad is a great guy who has truly helped the homeless cause. If he believes God spoke to him through this than who are we to say that is wrong!

    Skeptical, thanks for watching all the videos. It’s through support like yours that keeps this all going. If you don’t believe a higher being can speak through a personal story who are we to say you are wrong!

    what I can tell you is that real change happens after people are touched by these stories. And that is AWESOME!

    Faith-based jargon can be “spooky” and often turns people off. I am faith-based but work hard to not talk like that. People don’t mean any harm when they use the “G” word, and to be honest that is their right to use the “G” word, just like it’s your right not to use it.

    This is not a Christian vlog. Most churches talk and do not take any real action to influence change. This vlog is all about action.

    This is also a place where open conversation is encouraged. All faiths, or no faith at all, are welcome to share as they want to share. It’s through conversation we will find understanding.

  • http://twitter.com/BradEMelton Brad Melton

    Skeptical,

    Well said! I need to be much more careful with my language. I shouldn’t have used the word “believe”. It is dangerously presumptuous to assume the motives of others, let alone those of “G!” :) I offer my humble apology for any offense.

    Mark, thank-you for your kind words. And thanks for continuing your work. I continue to learn more about compassion, grace, and friendship through your videos and writings.

    Brad

  • Epixphotos

    http://jpgmag.com/photos/2077484

    David and Rhona lost there Florida home a few weeks ago. Now they stand on the intersection of I-95 and Hallandale Blvd asking for handouts. They collect enough daily to eat a meal and stay in a cheap motel.

    I asked if I could take a photo and publish it. They said yes and signed a release for me. I gave them some cash for the shot and asked a few more questions.

    David was a tile setter and Rhona a housewife. David injured his leg and was unable to work.

    http://jpgmag.com/photos/2077484

  • DSDFS

    YOUR VIDEOS ARE TAKING FOREVER TO LOAD. CONSIDER GETTING A DIFFERENT CAMERA OR SOMETHING.

  • Pingback: Meet Sylvester – He’s an Invisible Person

  • http://twitter.com/GonzoEnder Josh Akers

    This is one of my first experiences, the past few days of the power of social media. My life is changed. I got the link from Twitter, Alyssa Milano’s I believe. She has a warm heart.

    I love socks. I love a fresh pair of socks, brand new every single day, if I were rich enough. Since I love socks so much, I know their value. Since they are cheap, I am going to start giving away as many pairs as I can afford, to the homeless community here in Salem, Oregon.

    May God, or Buddha, or Science or Karma always provide you and me with fresh socks, as the result of giving them to others.

    The rainy season is on, here in Oregon. People need socks. @hardlynormal, thanks for turning me ‘on’ to the sock thing. You will be taken care of by your god, so you can benefit others.

    I have made a previous commitment to my Guru to benefit homeless people, and now I feel like socks are the first step…

  • http://meghanspeakstoyou.blogspot.com/ MegD

    As a fellow activist and concerned citizen of Atlanta, I speak on behalf of some of the efforts Atlanta offers homeless individuals. Though the resources might be scare and on a smaller scale, the help is here. People like Sylvester do indeed have a large challenge at hand after serving time in prison. Their backgrounds are shot, their knowledge of society is not up to date and their lifestyle is not parallel with the vast majority of Atlanta’s lifestyle. Re-entry into society after serving time is definitely a large reason people become homeless. Imagine being inside a building for several months, maybe years, at a time. What is changing in the world outside? What are you missing out on? There are some people who don’t even know what a cell phone is, what a computer is or what an ATM machine is. How are they supposed to just leave prison/jail and be expected to assimilate and conform? There is no humanly possible way of doing so. This cause is frowned upon by human kind: we are not a very forgiving race and we expect people who make a mistake to pay severe, sometimes inappropriate consequences. When they’ve done their time, their punishment might be over in the eyes of society, but to them, their stigmatized background will remain a lifetime of punishment.

    I was homeless for about two weeks of my life when I was 11 years old, and even though I was in a hotel and not the streets, my lack of a stable home contributed to my depression. I echo Sylvester’s thought about suicide. It’s difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel when the world is spinning around you and all you are doing is watching helplessly, passively and sadly.

    His calm, subdued and passionate eyes reassured me that he was genuine in his desire to belong in society with everyone else. He has been more than active in seeking employment but has hit all the roadblocks that everyone else leaving prison have. It’s unfortunate that in America people are judged by those kinds of things. Whatever happened to having a second chance? Even a third or a fourth chance ought to be merited depending on circumstances. I’ve got to say that some blame lies in Sylvester, but mostly, society. Closing doors to a fellow human out of preconceived judgments is a fault in American culture and ought to be resurrected before we kill off our own kind.

  • Kay

    Powerful man and whenever I launch my business I will make it a duty to remember Sylvester!

  • Gavin Smith

    I’m praying for him and I’m not even Christian.