While walking around handing out socks to new homeless friends, I started to talk to a woman who was sitting on the sidewalk. Her name is Lisa, and she is homeless in Venice Beach, California. I don’t exactly remember the conversation, but at one point Lisa says to me all excited “we were on Dateline together.” HOLY WOW she was right!
A few months prior, Dateline NBC produced a show about homelessness in Los Angeles. I may be a little biased because Dateline featured Invisible People, but I think Dateline produced one of the best shows on the topic I have ever seen. You can watch the full City of Angeles episode here:
I think the world of Lisa. After we first met, we connected a little bit before this interview. While walking down Venice Beach Boardwalk, almost every vendor and homeless person said hello to her. She is a kind and loving person. Liked by many. Lisa is also the type of individual I envision when I think of Venice Beach culture.
Venice Beach is one of the most wonderful and unique places I have ever visited. Being an old hippie myself, I find the bohemian lifestyle romantic. People are drawn to Venice for many different reasons these days but many are drawn by the lure of a carefree life and freedoms to express themselves as individuals. Venice Beach is known for healers, mystics, psychics, artists, and musicians.
Lisa is a gifted natural health professional, a healer! She has a master’s degree in Acupuncture/Ancient Asian Medicine and is a Certified Bach Flower Therapist. You can find her blog here:
Lisa also doesn’t want to be homeless. The good news is Lisa is connected to support services that are helping her get off the streets. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lisa has experienced living on the streets of Los Angeles. In the middle of this interview, if you watch close enough, you’ll see rats running in and out of the bushes. NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SLEEP ON A SIDEWALK NEXT TO RATS!
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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.