By Mia Kavensky
Seeing a homeless person is a daily occurrence for me living in the city of Champaign, Illinois. I see them with such regularity in my walk down green street don’t even give them a second glance. The same person could be sitting there everyday and I would not give them the time of day. Even if it was my family sitting on the corner covered in rags.
New York City Rescue Mission has approached this problem of homeless recognition. Pairing up with the agency, Silver + Partner, they filmed people walking past loved ones who were disguised as the homeless. Surprisingly, none of them knew their family was sitting on that curb, only mere inches away from their eyesight.
The passersby were soon shown the footage of them walking past their family. Some broke down into tears, while others turn down their heads ashamed. One participant felt so guilty they asked to not be included in the final video. They couldn’t believe they didn’t recognize their own family as homeless people.
The point of this project is to aid NYCRM’s mission of providing spiritual hope, food, clothing, and shelter to the people in crisis in New York City. Such a powerful advertisement really opens your eyes to the homeless in big cities. I had always thought of the homeless as lazy, irresponsible people; however, in today’s economy, it’s usual to not make ends meat. Kudos to the NYCRM, and I’ll be spreading this ad around to help deliver their message.