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They're not celebrities. They're homeless. And these tweets are awful.

Jimmy Kimmel's "Celebrities reading mean tweets" is one of his funniest and most parodied segments. But when a Canadian charity asked local homeless folks to read what people had to say about homelessness on Twitter, the result wasn't funny at all.

They're not celebrities. They're homeless. And these tweets are awful.
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Homeless people are still people.

One December evening, my husband Patrick and I were stopped outside our building by a homeless man asking for a cigarette. Pat, being the friendly and talkative guy that he is, happily offered him a cigarette and struck up a conversation with him while I tried to hurry us inside away from the cold. It was in those few moments — while Pat and the man laughed about how crappy the winter had been and the price of cigarettes — that a wave of embarrassment washed over me. Here I was feeling put out over a few minutes chatting with this man because I was cold. Meanwhile, he'd be stuck outside long after our conversation ended. And in talking to him, the man went from being a "homeless guy" to being a guy in our neighborhood who was fed up with city life just like we were, but he was still able to laugh it off with a smile.

And while I consider myself to be a pretty compassionate person with tons of empathy to go around, the lesson here is that it's too easy for many of us to forget that the homeless folks who line our city sidewalks are real people with hopes, dreams, families, and challenges just like everyone else. These people are not inconveniences to our selfish daily lives. They're people.


It's not easy being homeless.

There are tons of reasons people end up on the streets: debt, mental illness, family tragedy, and addiction. There's also a growing population of homeless LBGTQ youth, many of whom were put out by their own families. That's why comments like the ones presented in the video above feel so incredibly heartless.

But if being without a home and dealing with the stigma of being homeless wasn't hard enough, some states are enacting tough laws that leave homeless folks without places to sleep and that even penalize citizens for food sharing.

And while it was heartbreaking watching the folks in the "Homeless reading mean tweets" video confront the nasty misconceptions that too many have about the homeless, here's hoping it helps reframe the way we think about the homeless and the aid they need and deserve.

Interested in helping the homeless in your community? Check out "35 ways to help the homeless" from JustGive.org


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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

4-year-old New Zealand boy and police share toys.

Sometimes the adorableness of small children is almost too much to take.

According to the New Zealand Police, a 4-year-old called the country's emergency number to report that he had some toys for them—and that's only the first cute thing to happen in this story.

After calling 111 (the New Zealand equivalent to 911), the preschooler told the "police lady" who answered the call that he had some toys for her. "Come over and see them!" he said to her.

The dispatcher asked where he was, and then the boy's father picked up. He explained that the kids' mother was sick and the boy had made the call while he was attending to the other child. After confirming that there was no emergency—all in a remarkably calm exchange—the call was ended. The whole exchange was so sweet and innocent.

But then it went to another level of wholesome. The dispatcher put out a call to the police units asking if anyone was available to go look at the 4-year-old's toys. And an officer responded in the affirmative as if this were a totally normal occurrence.

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