Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eyes wide shut

How many times have you walked by a homeless person? How many times have you invented your own story about them? How many times have you stopped to ask them anything?
If you're like most of us, your answers are:
       1. Many;
       2. Often;
       3. Never.
    Fifteen years ago, Mark Horvath would have given the same answers, as he drove his Mercedes mindlessly past the homeless on his way to and from his high-paying television job. Then he became homeless, and he came to the realization that it can happen to anyone. Now, Horvath has made it his mission to collect the stories that we have never taken the time to consider. And they are fascinating.

    Horvath has documented hundreds of these stories from around the country on his site,, and they are as compelling as they are disturbing. He is a master at capturing the circumstances that have led so many otherwise 'normal' members of society onto the streets, and how difficult it can be for them to extricate themselves from homelessness once it has become their reality.

    Still, you may not be convinced. You may be thinking that these people are responsible for their fate. You may be right, but considering that the average age of the 3.5 million homeless people in the US is nine years-old, you might also be very, very wrong.

    There are many stories on Horvath's site, why not start with his?

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