Walking Skid Row with London's Director of Rough Sleeping

My friend Petra was visiting from London. This was her first time in Los Angeles. Petra is the Director of Rough Sleeper, Westminster and Migrants Services in London, United Kingdom. She has worked with rough sleepers trying to solve homelessness for several decades.

Petra wanted to visit and experience Skid Row, so I connected her to the amazing women of the Sidewalk Project. This video is our second trip out on the streets of Downtown. I thought the international exchange between boots-on-the-ground service providers and Petra was important enough to capture and share.

The two big differences between how the United Kingdom and the United States deal with homelessness in the UK have a much better safety net. Health care makes a huge difference in the prevention of homelessness, and because of the safety net, you don’t see the vulnerable people sleeping outside as we do here.

The United Kingdom has a much better system of getting people new to rough sleeping off the streets as quickly as possible. While the United States has programs like Rapid Rehousing that are meant to keep people in their apartments, we focus primarily on chronic homelessness. As Petra says so brilliantly in this video, it’s essential to focus on the newly homeless and those that have been outside for a long time.

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

Please watch and share our mini-documentary on the Sidewalk Project To find out more about the Sidewalk Project and support their important work, please click here

Executive producer: Mark Horvath

Producer/editor/videographer: Jonathan Thang

More stories from Skid Row and London:

Homeless Youth Sleeping Rough in London after Mother Died

Homeless Man Shares the Harsh Reality of Skid Row

#london #losangeles #homeless

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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, childhood trauma, lack of 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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