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Woman walking past her family who are disguised as homeless.
The folks at the New York City Rescue Mission have created a stunningly emotional video, asking the question—"have the homeless become so invisible we wouldn't know our own family members living on the street?"

Watch as interviewees stroll right past their loved ones (Warning: tissues advised):

Originally posted to Scout Finch on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for the Homeless Person.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oftentimes the homeless on the street (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper, IB JOHN, Catte Nappe

    have already seen their families try for decades to get them off of it. For many homeless, their mental illness is such that short of institutionalization their families have no choice but to eventually abandon any hope of getting them off the streets. Ask anyone with a chronically homeless family member and you will likely hear a tragic story of how impossible it is to help people who refuse to be helped or take their meds. I wouldn't place blame on any family member who doesn't recognize their own kin on the streets.

    •  I'm not placing blame on them and I don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IB JOHN, cotterperson

      believe the NYC Rescue Mission is either. Just noting how invisible these people become, that we often wouldn't even recognize our own family if we passed them by.

    •  Do you know if there is any data on these folks? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson, Youffraita

      I've been curious because I work with homeless vets at Stand Down in San Diego and know of the type you refer to. My experience is many more homeless vets would like to break the cycle of homelessness but need more resources. But my experience is only anecdotal and I really don't know.

      I'm not serious. Seriously.

      by IB JOHN on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:56:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One good source of info (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IB JOHN

        National Coalition for the Homeless
        http://nationalhomeless.org/...

        According to the one of many fact sheets linked above:

        Approximately 16% of the single adult homeless population suffers from some form of severe and persistent mental illness (U.S. Conference of Mayors, 2005).
        From the same fact sheet, indicators are that some recent contributors to homelessness are in line with your experience.
        Reasons why homelessness persists include stagnant or falling incomes and less secure jobs which offer fewer benefits.
        The declining value and availability of public assistance is another source of increasing poverty and homelessness.
        However, their specific data on veterans says it's not so simple:
        33% of male homeless population are veterans
        76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems
        http://nationalhomeless.org/...

        I have spent decades working with low income individuals and families, including those that are homeless. Something like this can be said of all of them

        homeless vets would like to break the cycle of homelessness but need more resources.
        I don't know how may times someone has told me that all they need is job placement and affordable housing, because they are in denial about the need for mental health treatment or substance abuse treatment to deal with issues that would prevent them from keeping a job or a home if they got one. The "want to" is there, but some of the missing resources can be the individual's own "resources", as well as the system and society.

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:51:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Back in the mid-60s, my dad was that guy (0+ / 0-)

    stumbling down the street with a bottle under his coat. He stumbled into an Assembly of God Rescue Mission in Oakland and was changed.

    But, I **try** to always make eye contact with the homeless, and smile and wave, and help some, if asked.

    If it wasn't for a series of strangers, who I will never know, my dad would never have survived to make it back to our family. I don't know what percentage of their gifts went to food, and what to vodka. I don't care. They kept him alive.

    "You can never sink so low in life that you can't be a bad example for somebody." - my dad

    by briefer on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:52:39 PM PDT

  •  A good friend of mine (0+ / 0-)

    was homeless until recently. Not on the street: he went to a shelter. But he finally has a room & his own TV, and I know he's really relieved to have his own place, even just a room with a small fridge and a TV another friend got for him. He gets Social Security but not much else, I don't think.

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:22:47 PM PDT

  •  OVERCROWDED SHELTERS and NO HOUSING (0+ / 0-)

    Many SINGLE unHOUSED HOMELESS "RECENTLY LOST JOBS and were REFUSED SHELTER BEDS because of  CROWDED SHELTERs or GIVING COUPLES HOUSING PREFERENCES"

    YOU NEED MORE TEMPORARY EMERGENCY HOUSING for SINGLE ADULTS

    ASK ORGANIZATIONS to PROVIDE TEMPORARY SINGLE ADULT SHELTERS..

    Read:  "Homeless to Harvard"  Book

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