Update: Arien Is No Longer Homeless in Los Angeles
I first met Arien two years ago while walking around Hollywood giving out socks to homeless people. She shared candidly about the abuse homeless women experience living out on the streets. You can watch that first video here:
The first two times I connected with Arien happened organically. You can watch her second Invisible People here: Arien mentioned attempts to kill herself that prompted the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) outreach team to go visit her. They helped her with clothes and hygiene products and placed Arien on a housing list, but there are tens of thousands of homeless people in Los Angeles and not nearly enough housing to get people off the streets.
Invisible People facilitates an online support group for homeless people. Arien and I became friends on Facebook. My last visit in February was rearranged. Arien wanted to update her story. In this video, she talks about being raped on her 3rd day of homelessness:
I never wanted to hit the milestone of a 3rd video with the same homeless person so a 4th interview with a young homeless woman is not something to celebrate. It’s disturbing that in a few years time Los Angeles could not get Arien out of homelessness.
This time of year communities is release their PIT (point in time) homeless count numbers. Many cities like Los Angeles will add some spin to the information to hopefully give an impression to the general public that some success in fighting homelessness is happening. Truth is, no matter what the PIT number is it’s just a number. Only one homeless person sleeping outside is a tragedy.
Here is Arien’s GoFundMe if you’d like to help support her:
Invisible People’s website:
Support Invisible People:
Invisible People’s Social Media:
Mark Horvath’s Twitter:
About Invisible People:
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.