Homeless GoPro Offers a Firsthand Perspective of Those Living on the Streets

Ralphie Aversa

If you read this blog regularly, you know that we love ourselves a GoPro video or three. Close encounters with animals, daredevil stunts, and one-of-a-kind perspectives all contribute to the large number of viral videos filmed with the small high-definition camera.

Homeless GoPro is a project that aims to build "empathy through firsthand perspective." It is certainly a one-of-a-kind point of view, but it does not involve a helmet or skateboard mount. Kevin Adler, 29, was inspired by his uncle Mark to start this endeavor.

"Mark was also homeless," he wrote on the Homeless GoPro website. "He suffered from schizophrenia, and spent 30 years on and off the streets and in and out of halfway houses."

Adler visited Mark's gravesite for the first time in almost 10 years, and it sparked his interest in people who live on the streets and are forgotten or ignored daily.

GoPro donated a Hero3+ Silver Edition to Adler's cause. Adler found a volunteer to wear the camera in Adam Reichart. The 44 year-old has lived on and off the streets for the past 30 years. Reichart dealt with the death of his mother and sister, along with drug abuse. He has spent the past six years in San Francisco.

In the video published Sunday, Reichart is seen pleading with people for money. He barely gets out who he is or why he is asking for anything before they blow right by him.

"I notice every day that people are losing their compassion and their empathy," Reichart says in the clip. "Not just for homeless people, but for society in general." Reichart, who recently had to have his teeth extracted, attributes the change in attitude to technology. "People don't talk face-to-face anymore," he says. "People are losing their social skills."

It's a trend that Adler plans to reverse with his project. He affixes the GoPro camera to the homeless person's chest, and then combines the footage with the subject's story for YouTube. Reichart hopes the video will help him raise funds for housing and food via his HandUp page.