When we first met Carlos, he said that people didn’t realize being homeless was “like a job”- how much effort it takes just to survive each week.
Every day we avoid contact with the homeless; we ignore them, we don’t see them, we look past them. Whether it’s due to a lack of trust or discomfort or even older stereotypes, it’s easier to write them off as a group rather than look at them as individuals.
Underheard in New York is an initiative to help homeless residents in New York City speak for themselves. We’ve provided Danny, Derrick, Albert and Carlos each with their own mobile phone, a month of unlimited text messaging and a Twitter account. They’ve found their voices by texting their thoughts, feelings and actions to Twitter. Our mission is to use their social media presence to create real interaction and make them a part of our global community.
In other words, get to know them as individuals.
Q. Don’t you think there are better, more useful, ways to help the homeless population in New York?
We think that getting their stories out there is important and useful, and we think one of the best ways for us- as Millennials who’ve grown up with social media- to help the homeless population is to help them be better heard and understood. Furthermore, we hope that we can inspire many people with the stories of these men to volunteer and donate supplies. (See our “Help” page.)
Underheard in New York In The News
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