One person built robots, another was a personal trainer and another was a figure skater. They've had scholarships, hold college degrees and even practiced on an NFL team.
The one thing these different types of people have in common is that they're all now homeless.
"We have to admit we thought wrong about who these people are," said Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, which launched the "Rethink Homeless" campaign earlier this year and recently released a video that went viral.
"We need to change the way people look at homelessness if we are going to find solutions for those in need," she added. "The homeless are people, just like you and I, that were usually impacted by some sort of tragedy. This latest video, 'Cardboard Stories,' shows that homelessness can happen to anyone."
Watch the viral video that was released late last month:
Though the "Rethink Homelessness" campaign started eight months ago, a news release from the commission said it was the recent video that really drummed up attention for it.
The whole point of the campaign, in addition to helping inform others about who the people behind the cardboard signs really are, is to help thousands of homeless individuals find housing.
"When our small team went out into Downtown Orlando with a camera, pieces of cardboard, & black markers we would have never predicted the amazing stories that were shared with us," the commission said in post on the campaign's Facebook page Wednesday.
The campaign's Facebook page includes many facts that might cause you to "rethink homeless" as well. Here area few:
- One of the leading causes of homelessness is someone fleeing domestic violence.
- The homeless often work but still struggle to keep a roof over their familes heads. Many are physically or mentally disabled and cannot work at all.
- Over 30,000 people experience homelessness each year in Central Florida. Most of them are women and children.
- When most people think of #homelessness they don't imagine homeless children. Families with children are the fastest growing #homeless population.