Day 50 (February 19, 2014) – New York, NY
I wonder what would happen if we actually acknowledge the “invisible people” among us.
Over a year ago I pointed out to a friend that all around us are signs of extreme poverty, homelessness and economic inequities. Unfortunately most of us live life with blinders, naturally focused on our own families and communities or simply trying to make it through the day. Sometimes it’s hard to see something you are afraid of or can’t fully understand. I’ve had countless conversations with friends who don’t get why I do what I do for a living. They don’t or can’t understand poverty, inequality or hopelessness. They typically don’t see a homeless person, but rather they see a vagrant, a bum or another derogatory name meant to dehumanize a person. I became an urban planner because I wanted to house the homeless and now I work on economic issues to tackle systemic inequities that keep people poor. To me, no one is invisible – each person has a name and a story and I wish everyone would take the time to fully understand the challenges life brings some of us.
There a is a great group (Community Solutions) working on a campaign to house 100,000 homeless people across the country by July 2014. They are already at 80,000! You can find more information about the campaign at http://100khomes.org/