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Brenda Update: No Longer Homeless in New York City

Help Brenda furnish her new apartment here

The number one request you all ask for is updates on the homeless people we interview. Because our travel is mostly dependant on 3rd parties it’s challenging to get updates but whenever possible we try to make them happen. As we grow, we do hope to be able to provide more updates whenever possible.

I first met Brenda when she was sleeping on cardboard homeless on the streets of New York City. You can watch that video here:

What’s interesting is in her original video, I didn’t understand everything Brenda was saying but now it all makes perfect sense.

Many years ago, Brenda used to work at the Hershey chocolate factory in Pennsylvania. She knows of the area including an independent living facility for seniors.

Brenda was homeless in San Diego. Brenda should have been receiving disability from Social Security but as she got older and closer to Social Security age, she traveled to Pennsylvania to apply for an independent living apartment. While waiting, Brenda decided to live on the streets of Manhattan. The moment she got Social Security income she housed herself. Truly remarkable.

Also remarkable, a mother sent me an email about visiting NYC with her daughter when her daughter recognized Brenda from watching Invisible People. The family befriended Brenda including buying a bed for Brenda’s new apartment. You can read that email here:

Brenda is one of a few homeless people who engaged with people in the comments of her Invisible People video. Over the course of a year, Brenda would leave updates about her situation and how she was going. I noticed some butterflies on the wall and Brenda informed me that someone from this YouTube channel sent her some stuff.

You can tell by the sound of the room, Brenda does not have much. She has a bed, a few chairs, a small table, and a plant. Social Security does not provide much after rent is paid. Invisible People will be donating to Brenda a special gift to help her with her book but she needs things for her apartment too. If you’re like to help, here is a link to her GoFundMe


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About Invisible People

There is a direct correlation between what the general public perceives about homelessness and how it affects policy change. Most people blame homelessness on the person experiencing it instead of the increasing shortage of affordable housing, lack of employment, a living wage or the countless reasons that put a person at risk. This lack of understanding creates a dangerous cycle of misperception that leads to the inability to effectively address the root causes of homelessness.

We imagine a world where everyone has a place to call home. Each day, we work to fight homelessness by giving it a face while educating individuals about the systemic issues that contribute to its existence. Through storytelling, education, news, and activism, we are changing the narrative on homelessness.

This isn’t just talk. Each year, our groundbreaking educational content reaches more than a billion people across the globe. Our real and unfiltered stories of homelessness shatter stereotypes, demand attention and deliver a call-to-action that is being answered by governments, major brands, nonprofit organizations, and everyday citizens just like you.

However, there is more work to be done on the road ahead. Homelessness is undoubtedly one of our biggest societal issues today and will only continue to grow if we don’t take action now.

Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness through innovative storytelling, news, and advocacy. Since our launch in 2008, Invisible People has become a pioneer and trusted resource for inspiring action and raising awareness in support of advocacy, policy change and thoughtful dialogue around poverty in North America and the United Kingdom.


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