Back in 2010 people around me were getting hit hard by the recession. I guess I was lucky to have kept my job and that my skills were always needed. But, my friends and some family members weren’t so lucky. I started meeting people who were having a tough time adjusting to this new “lifestyle”, if we can call it that, for most don’t choose to be homeless. Although, a lot of people who have never been homeless seem to think that way.
I also started interviewing people with my little HDV camera, but editing the footage was hard because I didn’t have the editing equipment and I wasn’t all that keen on making documentary style videos. My passion was, and still is, storytelling with MY words. I started writing a few scripts, and noticed a trend; most of the stories centered on characters who were homeless or living in poverty. So, I started thinking, how about making films about those who are homeless? Then I found Invisible People, which is fantastic because this organization brings awareness about homelessness and allows people to have a voice, letting their stories to be heard by anyone who will listen. Problem was, the viewers were listening but not hearing. If a person is truly heard, compassion and empathy begin to resonate within one’s soul. It’s our human nature, unless you’re a psychopath who just doesn’t give a shit about anyone.
Ok, well back to the post:
A year later, I moved to Los Angeles for a job. Little did I know the following year I would be starting a nonprofit video production organization. We initially started out offering free video coverage for other nonprofits that couldn’t fit videos into their budget. But then, I have to be honest, I started slacking due to time and just wondering “will this even make a difference?” I still have footage to edit, and I will be doing that more in the coming weeks because I made a promise. Failure is not an option for me. Quitting is not in my nature. I know a lot of people doubt I’ll reach my end goal, which I have yet to figure out.
I have come to realize that this, helping the homeless to rehabilitate their souls, is one of my main missions in life. I will most likely gain a lot of enemies, but I will also gain a lot of friends. Our current mission is this: “Strive to break barriers and produce results between those who want to give and those who need help.” I realize that this is a broad statement and that some of you reading this might think “how are they going to do that?” To be honest, I don’t know. You just have to keep watching to find out what we’ll do next.
I have written a unique plan to help people who are homeless or living in poverty to be lifted out of their current situation (success forward). I’ve reached out to a few large nonprofit “businesses”, but they are not interested. So, what does that mean? I’m thinking, they’re in it for the business of housing people. They don’t really want to “end” homelessness, for if homelessness was resolved, they wouldn’t have a job.
I just don’t understand how politicians and these large nonprofit corporations can sit on their hands, expect things to get better, yet put so many road blocks in the way of those trying to better themselves.
- Help your fellow neighbor and give to us. [And what do they do with the money I just donated?]
- We can put an end to homelessness. [But they never state how.]
- Housing 1st is the only way to go. [But there’s not enough affordable housing.]
And…the list goes on.
So this is what I plan to do going forward:
- Outreach where I can. [Asking how where they need help and then actually giving them help and guidance that they can use.]
- Connect with what I call poverty ambassadors and advocates. [These are usually the ones who aren’t making money helping the homeless.]
- Figure out our next plan. [I’d like us to bring awareness and act on the knowledge we acquire.]
What I’d like to see from others:
- Know or see someone who is homeless or living in poverty – ask them how you can help.
- Send me an email about stories of struggle. I’d like to share some with others, and I’ll change the names of course.
- Figure out ways you can help others in your community. Food banks, hold a clothing drive, etc.
- Be kind to each other because you never know what someone is going through.
- Do your best not to judge someone by how they dress. Get to know someone before you make a judgement about them. And yes, I know most will think “why do we judge at all?” Well, none of us can deny that we don’t judge others. What we can do is learn how to control those judgements. I too am guilty of judgement at first glance, but I also know it’s something I want to work on.
So you have made it to the end of this post. I know it was a long one, but it’s from my heart…allowing myself to be vulnerable. With vulnerability comes courage, don’t ever forget that.