On my last trip to Venice Beach, I handed out socks to homeless people as I always do. I always give each person a card with Invisible People’s information and how they can contact me, and information about our online support group. Usually, we don’t use last names, but for this video, we have to.
Meet Jessy Horvath.
Horvath is more common on the east coast. It’s rare to meet another Horvath on the west coast. For example, there is another Mark Horvath that lives in my hometown, but Jessy is the first Horvath I have met in Los Angeles.
Jessy is originally from San Jose. Jessy was on a disastrous path. Drinking and mental health caused her to end up on the streets. She says homelessness has made her a better person. Although I do not wish homelessness on anyone, I can agree that homelessness has made me a better person too.
Jessy and I have something else in common. Most of us don’t think twice about using a shopping cart (except when it has a squeaky wheel). Jessy says her pride will not allow her to push a shopping cart.
On the streets, a shopping cart is called a “buggy.” When I was homeless, I avoided “pushing a buggy” as long as I could. When that day finally came – when I had to get something from point A to Point B and had no other option but to use a shopping cart – I could no longer be in denial about my situation. I was homeless.
Jessy has a college degree. She is intelligent with a positive attitude. Jessy has been on the streets homeless for six years. That’s a long time. When someone like Jessy ends up sleeping without a home, we need to get them the help they need as quickly as possible. If we were able to see the beginning of each chronic homeless person’s path into homelessness, I believe we’d find many stories like Jessy’s. The longer someone sleeps outside, the harder it is to get them out of homelessness.