UK

People Disguised As Homeless Get Ignored by Their Own Families In Social Experiment (VIDEO)

25/04/2014 13:11 BST | Updated 25/04/2014 14:59 BST

If a family member posed as a homeless person, would you recognise him or her?

That's the question a new campaign - Make Them Visible - is asking.

A harrowing video devised to challenge the way the homeless are perceived found people were unable to recognise their loved ones if they were sat on the street and would, in every case, walk straight past them. a single participant recognised their loved ones.

The video asks: "Have the homeless become so invisible, we wouldn’t notice our own family members living on the street?"

"There’s only one person that didn’t make it into the film - because they couldn’t handle the fact that they walked by their family," video director Jun Diaz of Smuggler production company told Fast Company. "It happened every time."

"We don't look at them. We don't take a second look," Michelle Tolson, director of public relations for the New York City Rescue Mission, told The Huffington Post.

Actors were recruited by the campaign to play homeless people and their unsuspecting family members were then approached to see if they would take part in a social experiment, without being told what the experiment entailed.

"The experiment is a powerful reminder that the homeless are people, just like us, with one exception," Craig Mayes, executive director of New York City Rescue Mission, said in a statement provided to HuffPost. "They are in trouble and in pain. And they are someone's uncle or cousin or wife."