Watch them completely ignore their family and get a lesson about being homeless.

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.

Let's start taking the time to notice our fellow humans who are in need.

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.

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Anne Hebert, a marketing writer living in Austin, TX, jokes that her closest friends think that her hobby is "low-key harassment for social good". She authors a website devoted entirely to People Doing Good Things. She's hosted a yearly canned food drive with up to 150 people stopping by to donate, resulting in hundreds of pounds of donations to take to the food bank for the past decade.

"I try to share info in a positive way that gives people hope and makes them aware of solutions or things they can do to try to make the world a little better," she said.

For now, she's encouraging people through a barrage of persistent, informative, and entertaining emails with one goal in mind: getting people to VOTE. The thing about emailing people and talking about politics, according to Hebert, is to catch their attention—which is how lice got involved.

"When my kids were in elementary school, I was class parent for a year, which meant I had to send the emails to the other parents. As I've learned over the years, a good intro will trick your audience into reading the rest of the email. In fact, another parent told me that my emails always stood out, especially the one that started: 'We need volunteers for the Valentine's Party...oh, and LICE.'"

Hebert isn't working with a specific organization. She is simply trying to motivate others to find ways to plug in to help get out the vote.

Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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