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Published on Dec 21, 2009
The first time I ever heard the term "families downsizing" was this past July during an interview with the Nevada Partnership Of Homeless Youth [http://nphy.org] (watch the interview here http://ustream.tv/recorded/1825341 ). Larry Lovelett, Homeless Youth Transition Specialist, said this was currently their biggest challenge. He explained that since Nevada has been hit hard by the failing economy, families are selling their large homes and moving into smaller, more affordable apartments. But to fit into these apartments? Well, many families have no choice but to make their older children move out.
The idea of downsizing families boggled my mind - I just didn't see how it was possible for a family to kick out one of their kids. But then I met Dawn and her son Ryle at a rotating shelter [http://mcrest.org] near Detroit, Michigan. Just two days before this interview, Dawns mom dropped her off at the shelter.
Nevada isn't the only community grappling with downsizing families. Last week, I interviewed Jack Gonzalez at the Los Angeles Youth Network [http://layn.org], who also talked about how these families are affecting his organization. (That interview can be found here http://ustream.tv/recorded/2737926)
It's incredibly sad the lengths some families must go to in order to survive during these rough economic times. Maybe your family will never be forced to "downsize" in order to stay housed, but I hope that Dawns story puts a face to this unfortunate phenomenon.
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.