Homelessness is NOT a Choice (featuring LAHSA)

Featured Video Play Icon

This is the fourth mini-documentary of our Invisible Stories series on homelessness. CLICK HERE to watch.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) has a tough job. As the primary homeless services agency for Los Angeles County, LAHSA is responsible for helping to end homelessness in 88 cities spanning 4,083 square miles – that’s an area larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined!

Thanks to dedicated staff members, the agency continues to make amazing strides. In 2019, LAHSA helped a record 21,631 people move from homelessness to some kind of permanent, supportive housing. This is thanks to the fervent, resourceful and compassionate people serving on LAHSA’s team.

Take Martha Trujillo for example. As an outreach worker for LAHSA, Martha has a big heart and doesn’t take no for an answer. She commits to her clients, as is the case with Noemi. Homeless people often have years of trauma. The longer a person is outside, the harder it is for them to accept help. Noemi was pregnant living in a tent addicted to drugs. Even though Noemi kept pushing Martha away, Martha kept visiting. Eventually, she got Noemi into rehab.

Today, Noemi is sober, in housing, and she has a job.

“She’s more than a case manager to me, she is family,” Noemi said about Martha.

Martha shows us that if we don’t give up on people, we can end homelessness.

And homeless services everywhere continue to do better than they ever have. The problem is more people are entering homelessness than getting out due to the affordable housing crisis. The latest homeless count reported 58,936 people are experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County alone. Of course, this is a good guess at best. The number of homeless people in every city is far greater than what’s being reported.

Agencies like LAHSA need more support from the public and elected officials. There needs to be more support for solutions, more support for affordable housing options, more support to provide basic needs services. The public must take action and show their support for agencies like LAHSA that are out on the street everyday saving people

Invisible Stories is a mini-doc series that goes beyond the rhetoric, statistics, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages understand, and can’t ignore.

CLICK HERE to watch more Invisible Stories mini-documentaries on homelessness 

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

Invisible People


We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Until then, we strive to be the most trusted source for homelessness news, education and advocacy.

Related Topics

Your support can create amazing change

Join the campaign to end homelessness by supporting the only newsroom focused solely on the topic of homelessness. Our original reporting — posted five to seven days a week — can also be found on Apple News and Google News. Through storytelling, education, news, and advocacy, we are changing the narrative on homelessness.

Invisible People is a nonprofit organization. We rely on the support of friends like you — people who understand that well-written, carefully researched stories can change minds about this issue. And that’s what leads to true transformation and policy change. Our writers have their fingers on the pulse of homeless communities. Many are formerly or currently homeless themselves. They are the real experts, passionate about ending homelessness. Your support helps us tell the true story of this crisis and solutions that will end it. Your donations help make history by telling the real story of homelessness to inspire tangible actions to end it.

Your donation, big or small, will help bring real change.


Get the Invisible People newsletter


Homeless Man on the Streets of NYC after His Wife Died


Young Homeless Woman Living in RV in Seattle


Homeless Woman Sleeps next to the Street to Avoid Arrest


homeless man in austin



contemplating suicide while living homeless

Is Death Better Than Living in Poverty and Isolation?

tiny home fire

Tiny Home Fire Ravages Village Designed to Shelter Homeless Veterans

why aren't there camping bans on black friday

Tis’ the Season to Selectively Enforce Camping Bans

housing as health care

Health Care Plan Prescribes Housing as a ‘Cure for Homelessness’

Get the Invisible People newsletter