David

Eight years ago David was buying a two-story house. It took six months for his life to fall apart. David is now homeless in Boston.

David has slept outside in a tent for four years even in the winter that covered Boston with eight feet of snow.

David panhandles to survive. He says you do what you have to do. David is on a housing waiting list, but so far nothing has happened!

David says people should treat homeless people on an individual basis. He doesn’t drink or use drugs, but people wrongly believe every homeless person does.

David has slept outside in a tent for four years Click To Tweet

Jared

Jared is homeless in Austin, Texas. He says homeless is depressing and causes a mental breakdown. Jared says that people can die of they don’t find food or shelter.

Jared says that for some homelessness is a result of not making good choices. He goes on to say that getting out of homelessness is not easy, but it’s a blessing to get your life back and it makes you grateful.

Jared has been homeless for two years. He had a nice job and messed up. He then got sick.

Jared went back to college and currently has a job, but he is still sleeping outside. He is one of the thousands of working homeless in America.

Jared wishes that everyone could have the experience of homelessness so they would value the things they have.

Jared has a job but still lives on the streets homeless. Click To Tweet

Barnabas and Asia with their three children

Imagine raising a family in a small confined space with one child having cerebral palsy. Add to that little to no income. I honestly can’t even begin to understand how this family still smiles after living in an RV in South Los Angeles for the last two years! Homelessness was the only choice Barnabas, Asia, and their three children had after losing their apartment.

Barnabas worked at the airport. While moving bags, his supervisor stopped the cart to take a measurement at the wrong time causing Barnabas’s shoulder to be severely dislocated. Barnabas had to have surgery that placed three metal screws in his shoulder, and now he is not able to work.
Shortly after that Barnabas’s mother died. The family traveled to the funeral, and upon return, they were greeted with an eviction notice. With no job and no income and now no place to stay, the family moved into an RV.

Their son Zachariah has cerebral palsy and requires a lot of extra care. Because of the limited living space, it’s extremely hard to provide adequate therapy for Zachariah.

I love how this family all shared their wishes at the end. The good news is that part of the reason I was there was because Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority outreach workers are in the process of helping the family connect to a 3 bedroom apartment and other services.

Angelenos can help end homelessness this March 7th. Vote YES on Measure H to help end homelessness for 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County within the next five years. It will also prevent homelessness for 30,000 families and individuals over the same time period, including women and children, veterans, seniors, foster youth, and survivors of domestic violence. More more information, please visit: voteyesonh.com

Imagine raising a family in an RV with one child having cerebral palsy. Click To Tweet

Very special thanks to LAHSA.

Joe

“Most days it’s pretty bad. Some days it’s a little better, but it’s never good”, is how Joe describes homelessness in Philadelphia. The day we met it was 30 degrees outside.

Joe says sleeping outside is not the worst part. The isolation and being invisible to people is what makes homelessness so hard.

The isolation and being invisible to people is what makes homelessness so hard. Click To Tweet

Mike

It was 30 degrees last night in Philadelphia, yet Mike sleeps in a doorway of a pizza shop downtown.

Mike broke his leg on the job. He went into a nursing home and had to relearn to walk. He lost his employment and soon after his apartment.

It was 30 degrees last night in Philadelphia, yet Mike sleeps in a doorway of a pizza shop. Click To Tweet

Cushan

I was walking down a back street in Hollywood and ran into a small group of men and women setting up their tents for the night.Cushan and I started to talk. He was telling me that he is moving on up because he has the big tent. Cushan is homeless in Los Angeles.

One of the sights that always messes me up is when I happen to witness a person experiencing homelessness setting up an area to sleep for the night. In this great country of ours, people should not be sleeping on the streets – ever!

Cushan used to live in Detroit, but after 9/11, he lost his job at the airport and faced many challenges that resulted in him living on the streets! Even though he has been homeless for three years, he believes he has a bright future in front of him.

Angelenos can help end homelessness this March 7th. Vote YES on Measure H to help end homelessness for 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County within the next five years. It will also prevent homelessness for 30,000 families and individuals over the same time period, including women and children, veterans, seniors, foster youth, and survivors of domestic violence. For more more information click here.

Cushan is homeless in Los Angeles. Click To Tweet

Roy

Roy is homeless in London, a Canadian city in southwestern Ontario, located just north of Lake Erie and the U.S. border. He says he has been on the streets for ten years now.

Roy worked for 21 years at the General Motors until the factory was closed down and the work sent oveseas.

When we first started to talk, I noticed we were standing in front of a no trespassing sign. Roy went on to explain the music being pumped outside is to keep homeless people from standing around on the corner.

If you live in Canada, please click on this link to write your Member of Parliament today and tell them that you think ending homelessness should be a top priority in the new National Housing Strategy.

Roy worked for 21 years at General Motors Canada until the factory was closed down. Click To Tweet

Robert

Robert worked all of his life. When he reached sixty-two, he had to retire on only partial Social Security. Robert received the full amount at sixty-five. He’s now sixty-eight and living on the streets of Los Angeles homeless!

Robert says that on the fixed income he receives that he can either pay for food or pay rent, but there is never enough money to do both. Robert has tried to live in SRO (single room occupancy) hotels, but with rent at $500 a month, he didn’t have enough left over and decided to make a go of it homeless. That was a little over three years ago!

We have a “Silver Tsunami” coming. The Baby Boomer generation is now entering into what should be their comfortable retirement years. Instead, because this last recession wiped out a lot more than hopes and dreams, seniors will enter into homelessness at an alarming rate. Los Angeles County is projected to become increasingly old in the very near future. By 2020, the county’s age-50-or-older population is expected to increase by 27 percent, and the population age 65 or older by 43 percent. Sadly, many will end up on the streets experiencing homelessness unless we take serious action now!

Angelenos can help end homelessness this March 7th. Vote YES on Measure H to help end homelessness for 45,000 families and individuals across Los Angeles County within the next five years. It will also prevent homelessness for 30,000 families and individuals over the same time period, including women and children, veterans, seniors, foster youth, and survivors of domestic violence. For more more information click here.

Robert is just one of many seniors spending their retirement years homeless in Los Angeles Click To Tweet

Linda

Linda worked as a dental hygienist but started to lose her vision and lost her job a little over four years ago. She is now homeless and sleeps on the streets of Boston.

Linda had her wallet stolen and with it all of her ID. She just received her birth certificate and she is working on getting the documents needed to get into housing!

Linda does not like shelters. She will stay outside until it gets extremely cold. Last year Linda says she got frostbite because she waiting too long to go inside!

After each video, I ask everyone to smile for a photo that I post on Instagram. It’s my way of combating the wrong perceptions given by needs-based images used in most nonprofit fundraising. When I asked Linda to smile she said she can’t smile because she has no teeth. She went on to share that two men had wrapped duck tape around her arms and she lost her teeth trying to rip the tape off to escape.

We must do everything we can to get these precious people off the streets and into housing!

Linda is homeless and sleeps on the streets of Boston. Click To Tweet

Walt

Walt is a displaced tech worker living on the streets of San Jose. He worked in the electronic industry for thirty years. Then around ten years ago, his job “went away”, and soon after he ended up homeless.

Walt claims to be “comfortably homeless.” He manages to stay warm. He manages to stay clean. Get gets off the streets into a hotel a few times a month. Although some might think this is OK, homelessness is never a way for people to live. Add to that Walt is a homeless veteran and a senior, he should not be on the streets of Silicon Valley.

Walk refuses to accept any kind of public assistance. He believes that type of support should go to women and families who need it. Instead, Walt plays his flute to raise the money he needs.

Walt is a displaced tech worker living on the streets of San Jose. Click To Tweet

Patrick

Patrick has been homeless in Austin for seven years. He likes to stand out on 6th Street and make people smile.

Patrick says it’s cold and it’s wet, but he calls himself an old country boy and he makes the best of it.

While I was recording this, a waitress from one of the clubs came outside to see what I was up to. She told me Patrick is a good person. She sees him helping people every day. She said he’s helped her a few times.

Patrick was panhandling. Once he got a few dollars, he went to a store and bought himself a sandwich.

Jessica

Jessica was panhandling near downtown Boston. If she hadn’t approached me and asked for money, I would have never known she was homeless. The night before Jessica washed her hair in a bus station bathroom.

Jessica says she had five years sober, but then she lost her job and started to drink and use again. She eventually ended back out on the streets. Jessica explains trying to stay sober while experiencing homelessness is difficult, but she is trying!

If Jessica hadn’t approached me and asked for money, I would have never known she was homeless Click To Tweet

Shelly

Shelly is homeless in Hollywood, but she refers to herself as a “canner that sleeps outside”. Shelly survives by recycling cans. She says it’s just a band-aid until the economy gets better. Thing is, Shelly has been doing this for far too long, and the longer someone is on the street, the harder it is to transition back into a normal life.

Shelly has done a lot of traveling looking for work. At the time of this interview, she was sleeping in an ally. Shelly uses cardboard to sleep on. She says Amazon must be doing really well because she find so many boxes with the Amazon logo.

I have sat here for a bit looking at Shelly’s photo. I can’t image what she goes through on the streets of Los Angeles just to survive. Although she exudes a smile, that small layer of happiness is covering years of pain.

Shelly is homeless in Hollywood. Click To Tweet

Shaun

Shaun has lived on the streets of Philadelphia for 6 months now. When he first became homeless it was warm outside. The day of this interview it was deadly cold. Shaun is sleeping in a doorway laying on cardboard.

Shaun has lived on the streets of Philadelphia for 6 months. Click To Tweet

 

Special thanks to Charlie

 

Kelsey

Kelsey lives in a hotel room along with two newborn twins and two other adults.  Without income, they never know when their hotel stay will end. They live day-by-day trying to get funds for another nights stay and food.

Kelsey said she became homeless because of the lack of jobs in St Louis area.

Broke my heart when she said she doesn’t think about her future.

Kelsey lives in a hotel room along with two newborn twins and two other adults. Click To Tweet
Special thanks to Paul Kruse

Emily and her children

Emily and her husband live in a hotel near St Louis with their 4 kids and another one on the way.  When we walked in Emily  was giving her son a “time out” by sending him to the bathroom. There is no other room.  There is no privacy. My heart broke while visiting with Emily and her children. You can feel the nonstop stress this young mother must experience.

Emily’s husband lost his job. They then bounced around family until their car broke down and they ended up at this hotel. That was almost a year ago.

Living in weekly rate hotels often becomes a trap. It’s $1,000 a month to live there, which is often just most people’s paycheck. Emily’s husband is now back working and they have been lucky enough to save up some money, yet with an eviction on their record – finding a house or apartment to rent can be challenging.

Emily and her husband live in a hotel near St Louis with their 4 kids. This is family… Click To Tweet
Special thanks to Paul Kruse.

Moon

Moon sleeps in an abandoned building someplace near New Orleans. Earlier today, he had to take his pup to the veterinarian, and that took every cent he had. When I met him, he told me he had raised $2 in the last hour.

Moon had a job, but hurt his back. He was not able to go on disability because they said it was his fault.  Without income it was only a matter of time before he became homeless.

Earlier today I had a chat with a local outreach team that focuses on abandoned buildings.  When I asked the person if he knew what I did he responded “ya we have housed a few people in your videos”.  My hope is Moon will be one of them soon!

Moon sleeps in an abandoned building someplace near New Orleans. Click To Tweet

Russ

Russ lost his job in Winnipeg working with Mental Health Commission of Canada. For 4 years Russ helped people on the streets get the help they need. At the time of this interview he was sleeping rough in Ottawa, where he relocated to look for work.

Russ lost his job in Winnipeg and he was sleeping rough in Ottawa. Click To Tweet
Very special thanks to Ottawa Salvation Army and Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
  

Patrick

When I met Patrick he was living in a van with his wife and dog. They went from a 4-bedroom house to mobile homelessness, and at the time of this interview they were living in a Safe Parking program near San Diego.

Patrick was living in a van with his wife and dog near San Diego. Click To Tweet

Special thanks to Homelessness News San Diego

Kathryn

The majority of homeless people I know, if you saw them walking down the street, you’d never even suspect that they are experiencing homelessness. Kathryn is one of them.  When we were first introduced I actually thought she may be a staff person.

I met Kathryn on Skid Row. She came to the Los Angeles Mission from Las Vegas for their women’s recovery program. Kathryn says on Skid Row you see a lot of misfortune people and it’s very sad.

Kathryn ended up on the streets after losing a job. She tried working while being homeless, and that never seemed to work out. Kathryn relocated to LA because of the resources, and she says she sees food everywhere!

Kathryn ended up on the streets after losing a job. Click To Tweet

Special thanks to the LA Mission

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