“Skid Row hurt me in ways I can’t ever explain. It made me do things and made see things I wish I would have never seen.” ~ Luke
Luke story of living homeless on Los Angeles’s Skid Row is powerful and heartbreaking. No one should have to live like this. No one should have to fight just to survive for food and shelter and live in constant in fear!
Luke came to LA with his wife. Her family invited them to come to live with them, so they jumped on a Greyhound bus. They started calling, and their family never answered. When they arrived in Los Angeles the couple was forced to go to Skid Row where they are now stuck!
Skid Row was created by intentional urban design. The decision was made to place most all of the city’s homeless services in that one area. The theory was that by having all of the resources in one location that it would contain Los Angeles’s homeless crisis.
“Skid Row is by the bus station. It’s where all the shelters are. It’s where all the food is. It’s where all the resources are located. But Skid Row is a very nasty place” Luke shares in this interview. He goes on to say “[Skid Row] will make it so you are just constantly worried about what you need to survive because everything is being taken from you.”
Luke talks about how gangs tax homeless people in Skid Row for living on the sidewalk or in a certain area. If you don’t pay, they beat you up or burn down your tent with all of your belongings in it.
For those of you that are going to judge Luke for being on drugs, you need to understand that people use drugs to escape pain. It’s nearly impossible to stay sober while homeless and if you’re stuck in a place like Skid Row, drugs become a way to cope with life. Luke’s wife had to resort to prostitution and ended up pregnant. Near the end of her pregnancy, she started having seizures and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Luke was beaten 13 times since living homeless on Skid Row.
I pray Luke’s story messes you up like it did me. We cannot continue to look the other way and ignore the growing homeless crisis in America. Please watch and share this video with everyone you know and then take real tangible action to fight homelessness in your community.
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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.