Heather’s story is important because the public often judges homeless people without knowing how they got there or the challenges they face to get out of homelessness. Heather is a disabled woman living homeless in San Francisco because she has a bullet lodged in her back. Because she is very soft spoken and there was a freeway above us, I added captions.
I first met Heather when we followed Couper around for a day. While Couper was helping Heather with a medical issue, I learned that Heather badly needed a neck brace. I ran to the closest medical supply store and bought a brace and some other items Couper told me they needed.
When she was only eighteen, Heather was riding a bus when the police come on to search for a robbery suspect. Bullets started flying and Heather was shot in the back.
Heather continued to work full time but eventually, the pain got worse. She doesn’t receive disability. Heather survives but watching other people’s tents when they run errands.
In San Francisco, the waitlist to get into a homeless shelter is over 1,200 people. Once you get a bed, you can only stay for 90 days. The whole homeless support system in San Francisco doesn’t make sense but I assume it’s driven by a severe lack of housing. Without housing, you can’t move people from the shelter into homes!
There are over a million people who are experiencing homelessness in the United States right now. If you want to help them, the best way is to advocate for more affordable housing. We’ve made it easy for you to contact your legislators. Click here and input your address and then contact your state and federal representatives https://invisiblepeople.tv/get-involved/
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Since its launch in November 2008, Invisible People has leveraged the power of video and the massive reach of social media to share the compelling, gritty, and unfiltered stories of homeless people from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The vlog (video blog) gets up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims and others who have been forced onto the streets by a variety of circumstances. Each week, they’re on InvisiblePeople.tv, and high traffic sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, proving to a global audience that while they may often be ignored, they are far from invisible.
Invisible People 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 can understand, and can’t ignore. The vlog puts into context one of our nation’s most troubling and prevalent issues through personal stories captured by the lens of Mark Horvath – its founder – and brings into focus the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions face each day. One story at a time, videos posted on InvisiblePeople.tv shatter the stereotypes of America’s homeless, force shifts in perception and deliver a call to action that is being answered by national brands, nonprofit organizations and everyday citizens now committed to opening their eyes and their hearts to those too often forgotten.
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.