Homeless Woman Shares Heartbreaking Story of Life on the Streets of Venice Beach

Yesterday, I was walking around handing out socks to homeless people in Venice Beach when I happened upon a small cluster of tents. I talked to a few of the people living there and told them that I would be back today with wipes. Often called “bath in a bag” or “shower in a bag,” baby wipes are desperately needed on the streets.

Tonight while keeping my promise and handing out wipes I ran into an older woman who was trying to make a home for the night. Every morning at 6am, police come and make everyone tear down their tents. For the growing number of homeless seniors out on the streets, the daily existence living without a home is overwhelming.

I asked Michelle if she would like some wipes. She responded, “I’ll take as many as you can give.” I then asked her how she ended up homeless in Venice Beach. We sat down on the sidewalk together, and she started to share. Michelle’s story is heartbreaking.

“I never asked to be homeless here in Venice. It just happened to me”, Michelle starts her story. A friend talked her into moving to California after a bad divorce. Michelle had her own business grooming pets and boarding dogs. She lived on a farm with her ex-husband. Michelle continues “I got to where I thought I was better than anybody myself. Now, look at me.”

At one point, Michelle turned to me and said she cannot continue. I kept recording by instinct. I asked Michelle about her most recent stroke six days ago, and she kept on talking. After, Michelle was okay that I didn’t stop.

Michelle’s purse was stollen with her identification. A friend helped buy a bus ticket. The first driver allowed her to get on the bus without ID. The second driver wasn’t so flexible. They threw Michelle out on the streets of Downtown Los Angeles at 3:30 in the morning. This was her first time on L.A. and her first time homeless. Michelle met a few homeless people that took her to a safe place.

Michelle is determined to get herself off the streets and out of homelessness. Although she has health issues, she is a strong woman. She is doing everything in her power to better her life, but the truth is there are not enough resources for all the people who need our help. We need to change that. Everyone in Los Angeles County must work to end homelessness before more people die outside on the streets!


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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, 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 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.

Written by Invisible People


  1. Rule one of being homeless in US seems to be protect your ID cards with your life and don't leave them in your wallet or bag.

  2. Thank the Lord we have free health for the most part here. Dentists cost the earth though. Some get benefits for teeth.
    I was homeless at 16 after my mother died suddenly when I was 12 and my father became a bad alcoholic and terrible to be around.
    I had a little help but only for 6 months. I was able (in those days) to get a job it was much easier but a very meagre income.
    I sort of drifted. Then I rented a room in a girls hostel. It was a lonely terrible existence.
    I met my husband and I remember we had so little money we ate a tin of pineapple in the car and some cheese! Thank the Lord he
    had a job too and we rented the most horrible flat. No one knows how life will go. I turned to Jesus at age 28 and He has looked
    after us. We don't have a fancy house like those in USA its quite cruddy however He paid off our mortgage early and we struggled
    lots too. One of my sons has no way now he can afford a house, he lives in a flat with high rent. I am praying for a house for him.
    Doesn't matter too much though looking at the world now.
    Folks we are in the final generation now to Jesus return, repent of sin and commit to Him while there is time. It is fast running out.
    Jesus looks after his children, those who admit they are sinners and willing to follow Him and His Word for life and walk the narrow
    path each day with Him. It is not an easy walk but you do see miracles. Get born again… (Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to enter your
    heart and body and teach you His ways when you turn to Him). I advise people to go and watch this video called:
    Bill Wiese man who went to hell: 23 minutes in hell (condensed). He is born again too. Here is Jesus warning to get born again:
    Jesus replied, 'Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again' [John 3 verse 3]…christian bible.

  3. She is for real …I've feel it…semiarlar. they like to corner p ett people with brains…we targets were truly targeted as intelligent to be studied. Now everyone's turn. They learn from the best

  4. Insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies who own the corrupt politicians are the cause of bankruptcy's, homelessness, and suicides of millions and millions of Americans. Biden, McConnell, Pelosi, Grassley, and the other corrupt corporate slaves who have been there for more than 40 YEARS ARE COVERD IN BLOOD.

  5. That was a powerful moment when she said she had thought she was better than others because she had money and "now look at me", it CAN happen to anyone.

  6. And all of this could've been prevented if the people of the US just collectively came to their senses to finally establish a universal health care system like in the rest of the developed world. But oh well…

  7. Why would a husband put her on the street (ok, fine that can happen), why is she the one losing in the marriage, was there a fault? What is behind “bad” marriage?

    Why would her “friend” take all her stuff?

    Just sad. All sad. I feel for her. There has to be a system enough to help her back on her feet and work for her living.

    Would be also good to know and listen to those sides (if only) for full picture.

  8. The richest country in the World and this is how they let their people live. On the cold streets with nothing healthcare. It’s shameful. But there’s enough for a military budget of $800 billion a year, foreign aid, and tax cuts for billionaires. But Oh Capitalism is good and Socialism is bad…Ha, the rich sure have done a good brainwashing job on the American people. They love their rich masters. They even call it Democracy. What a CON.

  9. Well, i maybe; late on this but, i will pray for you Michelle. You are beautiful and strong God, will bless you. Believe, in him no one else. Please, help this wm and you too, will be blessed. Shalom.