Just by looking at him you could tell Tony has some serious health issues. He could not even reach out to shake my hand. Tony was actually released from a hospital the day we met in New Orleans, which was nothing new – Tony has cancer and has been in and out of the hospital – always being released back to homelessness!
Homelessness is bad enough, I cannot imagine what it must be like trying to fight cancer while living on the streets. Just last week, a homeless friend of ours here in Los Angeles, died from cancer. Unfortunately, support services for homeless people who get sick is rare. In Los Angeles, a city that people argue has between 50,000 to 90,000 homeless people on any given night, has less than 100 respite beds that I am aware of. What do you think happens to person’s recovery and health when after a surgery or cancer procedure they are placed back out on the streets?
We have a “silver tsunami” coming. The boomers are now at the retirement age but lost savings in the crashed economy. This older generation is going to hit social services so hard it very well may crash a system that is already overworked and under funded.
Please watch and share Tony’s important story with everyone in your network. The good news is Tony is going back into the hospital for more surgery. The bad news is they will once again release Tony back to homelessness.
*** As a rule we never edit a video. There is one edit point in Tony’s video because the camera stopped recording.
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Since its launch in November 2008, Invisible People has leveraged the power of video and the massive reach of social media to share the compelling, gritty, and unfiltered stories of homeless people from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The vlog (video blog) gets up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims and others who have been forced onto the streets by a variety of circumstances. Each week, they’re on InvisiblePeople.tv, and high traffic sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, proving to a global audience that while they may often be ignored, they are far from invisible.
Invisible People goes beyond the rhetoric, statistics, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages can understand, and can’t ignore. The vlog puts into context one of our nation’s most troubling and prevalent issues through personal stories captured by the lens of Mark Horvath – its founder – and brings into focus the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions face each day. One story at a time, videos posted on InvisiblePeople.tv shatter the stereotypes of America’s homeless, force shifts in perception and deliver a call to action that is being answered by national brands, nonprofit organizations and everyday citizens now committed to opening their eyes and their hearts to those too often forgotten.
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.