There are many misconceptions about homelessness. Some believe that the homeless are lazy, for example, when in fact many homeless people are college graduates and professionals who are simply enduring difficult times.
When a family falls apart and the mortgage can’t be paid or when a job is lost and there is no way to continue paying the bills, people can find themselves at a shelter or on the streets. Spiraling medical bills can lead to homelessness, too.
In the U.S., a total of 552,830 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2018. In Britain, there were 160,000 homeless households in 2018. It’s a prevalent and concerning problem and many are trying to help the homeless while educating others.
Homelessness can occur anywhere in the world and impact virtually anyone.
To help show the public that homeless people have skills, abilities, compassion and feelings, the professional pianist known as the Piano Phantom underwent a major transformation for a social experiment.Source: YouTube/Piano Phantom
Makeup artists converted him from the highly acclaimed artist he is to a homeless man with long straggly hair and an equally long scruffy beard.
Dressed in stained casual clothing, the Piano Phantom walked through a British transportation terminal clutching a sign and an empty cup. The sign read: Help care for the homeless.Source: YouTube/Piano Phantom
He strolled determinedly up to a piano and set the sign and cup atop it. He sat on the empty piano bench as curious passersby paused to see what he would do.
Instantly, the Piano Phantom began playing the instrument beautifully. A crowd quickly gathered around to listen.
People even began to drop clanking coins into his cup, the looks on their faces incredulous as they listen to this perceived homeless man tickle the ivories incredibly. Even those who passed by without actually stopping glanced over and listened for a fleeting moment.Source: YouTube/Piano Phantom
One little girl in particular was enthralled with the professional pianist in disguise and couldn’t tear her eyes away from him. The piece was arranged solely for the Piano Phantom, titled 18th variation from Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini by Rachmaninoff.
While his worn and tattered shoes pumped the piano’s damper pedal, people whipped out their phones and recorded his performance, mouths agape as they listened to him play. People whispered to each other, marveling over the amazing music this homeless man was creating.Source: YouTube/Piano Phantom
As soon as he was done performing, everyone standing around him applauded wholeheartedly.
One woman walked up to him and quietly commended him for a job well done. The pianist nodded his gratitude for the compliment.Source: YouTube/Piano Phantom
Then, the unknown pianist grabbed his sign and cup and walked off, leaving behind a bewildered group of people.
All of the money raised by the Piano Phantom during this social experiment was donated to Crisis in the United Kingdom, a charity that helps homeless people rebuild their lives and leave behind homelessness for good. Founded in 1967, Crisis offers education, employment and well-being services to thousands of homeless people every year.
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