How do we allow people to become invisible?
Did you know it would take you about almost two weeks to count to 3,500,000? (And that's without sleeping or eating!)
I've never tried it, but a Google search told me it would take about that long. Let's agree that 3,500,000 is a mighty big number. That's approximately how many people are homeless every year.
It's hard to imagine that 3.5 million homeless people could become invisible.
But sometimes we overlook the obvious, and that's what one homeless shelter in New York set out to illustrate.
The shelter, New York Rescue Mission, asked some random people to dress homeless for an afternoon.
Then they had their relatives walk by.
The relatives had no idea they'd be passing their family members.
Not one person took the moment to see the person sitting in front of them as they passed by.
Evan did not notice his cousin.
Alison did not notice her brother and uncle.
Shaunya did not notice her mom and aunt.
Everyone in the experiment was surprised they had not been able to actually notice people they knew and cared about when they thought they were homeless.
Becoming homeless can happen to anyone.
Check out the entire video and transcript below. And yes, I know that most of us probably would not notice our family members if we were not expecting them to be sitting on the street. That's not the point of this video. It's an illustration to show that at some point, any of us (or our family) could be homeless. It's here to make us think.