Alyona is a 19 year-old homeless college student ‘flying a sign’ in Pasadena to get enough money for a hotel room. The night before she slept in a park.
Pasadena is a small town outside of Los Angeles and you wouldn’t think of a town like Pasadena as having a homeless problem. In fact, I recently moved to Pasadena because I wanted a little more quiet, and to hopefully get a break from homelessness. But everyday driving home after working at the shelter I’m seeing more and more people panhandling at the exit ramps.
Alyona was going to college full time but for whatever reason her parents stopped paying the rent. Her and her boyfriend made plans to live with a friend and that turned out to be a horrible situation resulting in Alyona getting everything stolen.
I have huge respect for Alyona and her boyfriend for doing what they can to stay in school while homeless. He has two more classes before he gets an AA degree is zoology and she’s still taking classes in theater arts.
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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.