Charlie and Michelle | Invisible People

Charlie and Michelle


I was walking around San Diego wearing Google Glass when Charlie, a man who has been homeless for over a decade, stopped and started a conversation with me. When I started the interview and asked […]

Charlie and Michelle

I was walking around San Diego wearing Google Glass when Charlie, a man who has been homeless for over a decade, stopped and started a conversation with me.

When I started the interview and asked Michelle, Charlie’s wife, what it was like to be homeless in San Diego, she immediately started to share how police officers constantly harass them.

Michelle says that it was not until she moved to California that she became aware of homelessness. Now she has lived on the streets over eight years!

This is the last interview that I will ‘intentionally’ record with Google Glass. People have requested I stop using them for interviews mainly because of the audio issues. Wearable technology is here to stay, and I am honored Google picked Invisible People, and even more honored people donated so we could be the first trying to document homelessness through Glass. This has been an experiment that will continue, and I do hope to be able to record more walk-throughs of poverty areas like Skid Row, however, as an interview tool, Glass needs to handle audio better. Thank you everyone for all the feedback!

 

Special thanks to Caridad

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  • Amanda Patrizi

    I wonder if the “Rocko” she’s speaking of is a pet or a child. I live in Austin and always try to chat with the homeless people here. I’ve been told, “if it’s been over 10 years, you’re homeless because you want to be.” I wonder how this couple, running on 8 years feels about that. Thanks for the story.

  • DHFabian

    There is one thing that middle classers today, inexplicably, can’t grasp: Millions of us are a single job loss from losing absolutely everything.How do you then get a job without a home address, phone, clean clothes, bus fare? Not everyone can work, due to health/circumstances, and there simply aren’t jobs for all who need them. What should we do about these people? Middle classers don’t want them on the streets, but they can’t go into suspended animation, stored in a warehouse until deemed of use to an employer.

  • DHFabian

    Once you’re actually homeless, you no longer have a way to secure employment. That’s just reality. You can fill out job application forms, but without a home address and phone number, those applications go straight into the trashcan.

  • LT

    So maybe instead of giving cash to a homeless person, we rent a PO box for a few months and give them the key. Sounds like an idea of a great charity group to start to help homeless people get back on their feet and secure employment.

  • http://amysampleward.org Amy Sample Ward

    Thanks for sharing your experience with Glass, Mark – it’s such an interesting time as technology becomes incredibly advanced and accessible ahead of people’s comfort or adoption. Invisible People shares such real, honest stories that it seems like a great place for Glass but that’s in theory; in practice, all people – whether experiencing homelessness or not – will need time to figure out where technology fits or is expected (even welcomed), and where it doesn’t belong.

  • neyygar

    How do these people get so FAT being homeless and penniless?

  • http://www.MelAclaro.com/ Mel Aclaro

    Good question. This gets asked a lot in non-profits I’m affiliated with. While not all situations are the same it is generally the case that to eat healthy is actually quite expensive for the homeless. Because of the fact that most homeless peeps don’t have easy access to basic conveniences many of us take for granted like refrigerators, stoves, ovens and the like, it means that it’s generally impracticable to secure food stuff that require refrigeration to be “saved for later.” Many “healthy” foods like vegetables, meats, chicken, fruits, juice, etc., tend to fall in the perishables category — they have to be refrigerated else they go bad relatively quickly. On the other hand, Big Macs, fries, burritos, Frito Lays, and stuff like that are much easier to keep for longer periods without refrigeration — and, let’s face it, much easier to find “on the streets” than the healthy/perishable kind.

  • neyygar

    Mel,
    Thank you for your very understandable answer.
    Have a nice day!
    Ron

  • Guest

    I know many homeless people. Yes the quality of the food they receive is subpar but some people don’t care about their health in general. When you think about homelessness think about all the people who ended up on the streets because of medical issues, addiction, etc.. In my city they have meals at a different church every day and many of the people on the streets have literally made a lifestyle out of going from meal to meal every day epecially if they have an addiction that drains their metabolism. Many people have very stubborn attitudes when it comes to taking care of themselves.

  • a2phil

    Every time the homeless apply for a job, and the employer finds out (and, one way or another, they will) that the applicant is homeless, they seem to automatically think “he’s an alcoholic or drug addict” and don’t hire them…been there, gone through that…

  • a2phil

    ” many of the people on the streets have literally made a lifestyle out
    of going from meal to meal every day”…

    It’s called “survival”…

  • a2phil

    The “free meals” that are usually served have enough sodium, saturated fat and cholesterol to kill an army…

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