Homeless people with cardboard signs. They’ve become a sad fact of life in modern American society and anyone, especially those of us who live in cities, see theme every day. But how do we react? Do we simply form an instant stereotype in our minds? “That guy wants to be homeless.” Or, “He’s a drug addict. Not worth my time!” Or even, “Those people are not really homeless, the just want money and they don’t want to work for it!”
Or do we take a moment to look past those harmful and most often false stereotypes — and do we ask ourselves, “Who is that person? What is her story?”
That latter question is exactly the one asked by the “Rethink Homelessness” project every day. Rather than react the way some communities respond to the homeless problem — as The Inquisitr reported earlier, one building even installed “anti-homeless spikes” to keep homeless people away (see that story at this link) — this Orlando, Florida-based group actually talks to the homeless, treating them as the human beings they are, and that too many of us easily forget that they are.
After this video, posted in June by Rethink Homelessness and already viewed more than a million times, you will find it much harder to forget. The cardboard signs displayed by each of the homeless individuals in this montage tells a story — a true story — and in one sentence, we learn who each of these people are and where they came from.
Turns out, they’re no different that any of us. One guy has battled epilepsy all his life, another played professional football, another has a college degree in biology. And so on.
All of the people in this video reside in Orlando, Florida. That state has a homeless population near 50,000 — about eight percent of the entire U.S. homeless population. And while the homeless rate fell somewhat in 2013, it remains tragically high, at one homeless person for every 526 in the U.S. population.
Watch this video and afterward, let us know if you will now look at homeless people differently than you did before.
[Images: Rethink Homelessness]