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Videos: Homeless But Not Voiceless

In Colombia, Canada, the UK, and the US, we have different initiatives that aim to bring to the foreground the plight of those who are twice forgotten: the children, indigenous people, immigrants and the transgender community.

Colombian videographer José Alejandro González has been documenting and sharing the lives of the homeless people of Colombia for years, and last year with The Insider Project many of these video documentaries came together in a couple of longer films: The Truth and The House.

Homele$$ by Bob With CCBy

The Truth follows several homeless in Bogota, Colombia, who speak about their lives, touching on political, social and economical aspects of homelessness. One of those interviewed is a 15 year old who tells of his estrangement from his family, his drug addiction, his forays into the most dangerous parts of towns to get drugs and his wish to be able to be “fine” and go home to spend Christmas with his family on the other side of the city:

The House takes us inside the “home” of a homeless person: underneath a manhole cover and into an underground wiring station beneath the streets of downtown Bogota. There, Darío Acosta has his bed, books, radio, battery powered light and his imaginary dog.

Mark used to be homeless in the 1990s, living on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, addicted to drugs and selling pictures of his iguana to tourists. Today, he heads the Invisible People project, where he goes around the US and Canada asking homeless to tell their stories and advocating for their rights.

On a visit to Canada, he noticed the connection between the First People and homelessness and he then tried not only to get their stories and show the unique situation faced by them while maintaining cultural sensitivity but also, hopefully, to change their situation:

The following interview is with Dave Ward, director of aboriginal relations at Homeward Trust Edmonton. This is an important conversation. David talks about aboriginal culture and solutions to ending homelessness. Too me, I think the biggest is listening. We need to listen to their culture and include aboriginal people in the process of finding and implementing solutions.

One of the striking interviews is the one featuring Alma. She's a homeless grandmother in Winnipeg who is putting herself through college in the hope that having an education will empower her and increase her chances of getting back her granddaughter from child protective services as she becomes able to give her a better life:

There are many other videos in the Invisible People YouTube channel, and you can also follow Mark on Twitter as user @invisiblepeople.

In Bradford, England, Hope Housing provides opportunities for homeless people who don't classify for benefits, most of them because they are immigrants who no longer have their documents, are unemployed and have to turn to squatting or living on the streets to survive.

In their video The Not So Promised Land, they focus on the problems faced by economic migrants, those who came from the Eastern European countries in search of work opportunities in the UK, only to find that it was going to be harder than they thought. Hope Housing gives them a hand so they don't need to stay on the streets and help so they can find what they went to the UK to seek: work.

Diamond Stylz describes herself as a a proud transgendered woman of color from Indianapolis, Indiana but currently living in Houston, Texas. In her YouTube channel she discusses many topics regarding gender, race and sexuality.

In this video she goes back to her experience in homelessness and how she discovered that as a non-HIV positive transgender woman she wouldn't be accepted in shelters for women, men or HIV positive trans people, so had she not had someone to give her a hand and get on her feet, the system would have basically turned its back on her.

9 comments

  • […] by Juliana Rincón Parra · comments (0) Share: facebook · twitter · reddit · StumbleUpon · delicious · […]

  • […] · Videos: Homeless But Not Voiceless […]

  • ed manstar

    people need awareness this is my part in my city http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K3zHKemh9E

  • Pit camzo

    A woman decides to have a facelift for her 50th birthday.
    She spends $15,000 and feels pretty good about the results.

    On her way home, she stops at a news stand to buy a newspaper.

    Before leaving, she says to the clerk, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but how old do you think I am?”
    “About 32,” is the reply. “Nope! I’m exactly 50,” the woman says happily.

    A little while later she goes into McDonald’s and asks the counter girl the very same question.
    The girl replies, “I’d guess about 29.” The woman replies with a big smile, “Nope, I’m 50.”

    Now she’s feeling really good about herself. She stops in a drug store on her way down the street.

    She goes up to t he counter to get some mints and asks the clerk this burning question.
    The clerk responds, “Oh, I’d say 30.” Again she proudly responds, “I’m 50, but thank you!”

    While waiting for the bus to go home, she asks an old man waiting next to her the same question.
    He replies, “Lady, I’m 78 and my eyesight is going.
    Although, when I was young, there was a sure-fire way to tell how old a woman was.

    It sounds very forward, but it requires you to let me put my hands under your bra.

    Then and only then can I tell you EXACTLY how old you are.
    They wait in silence on the empty street until her curiosity gets the best of her. She finally blurts out, “What the hell, go ahead.”

    He slips both of his hands under her blouse and begins to feel around very slowly and carefully.

    He bounces and weighs each and he gently pinches them.

    He pushes both together and rubs them against each other.

    After a couple of minutes of this, she says, “Okay, okay…How old am I?”

    He completes one last squeeze and then removes his hands and says, “Madam, you are 50.”

    Stunned and amazed, the woman says, “That was incredible, how could you tell?

    The old man says, “Promise you won’t get mad?”

    “I promise I won’t.” she says.

    “I was behind you in line at McDonald’s!”

  • Pit camzo

    hun

  • rockerdog

    hahahhahahahhaha funny one :)

  • Pit camzo

    oh oya ohj thATS THE SPORT BUDDY OH YA UNUNUN

  • rockerdog

    hah ya buudy ahahahha :p

  • Pit camzo

    HELLO AH PEOPLE HERE THAAT IS JEWISH

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