My friend dropped me off blindfolded, barefoot, and with no money or ID. &

Before you waste your time read the most objective review:

"I did enjoy your documentary, and I, too, found it eyeopening, but I think 'sloppy' is an understatement. Parts of it seem very professional (premise, execution, storytelling) but the soundtrack and ridiculous voice-over that you do when describing a hobo-term really detract from the experience. You have enough here to really say something and I commend you for having the balls to go through with this, but the amateurish and downright immature nature of some of the audio presentation has got to be reworked. Rerecord some of those things, get a less obtrusive and grating soundtrack, and you might really have something here. This isn't meant to insult in any way, this really is great. But parts of it are really keeping it from being ready for prime time."

*UPDATE* I re-uploaded the video without the "ridiculous voice-over" for the definitions.

Also, I sifted through the hateful comments and made a collection of all the questions and of the most relevant discussions. They are highlighted as well to make it easy to skim.

All questions:

Best comments:

Comments: 491 • Responses: 90  • Date: 

badministration238 karma

The problem with trying to live homeless without actually being homeless is that deep down you know you can go home. I know you can experience the cold, hunger and isolation but you still have that security of knowing that if it get too rough you can get out. This kind of thing has been done countless times and whilst well intentioned makes no real difference. People are well aware of how homeless people have to live but it's society as a whole that lets it happen. Remember the wall street protests? If people rallied to this one cause, made clear that their vote would go to those that would end homelessness, it would be sorted. You may have been as well using any money spent to buy someone on the street a new sleeping bag and some decent shoes.

capnjasbo140 karma

Yeah I agree. I mention that in the section of my blog, "My Experience."

"My self-image was mutilated after just 2 weeks of people treating me like shit, despite knowing, (in the back of my head), I could get off the streets at any time. I can't fathom what it's like when you truly have no place to go."

That's why I made sure to have plenty of interviews with those who are (or have been) truly homeless.

Also, I think we need to agree on the best way to help before anything can change. If you watched the documentary you saw that shoes/sleeping bags weren't scarce in Denver. Throwing money at the problem doesn't help, but throwing money at the right organizations does ;) My favorite is Step13 who's slogan is: "real change, not spare change."

Also, maybe if we can make government assistance harder to take advantage of then those truly in need can be rationed more assistance. I'm not sure on the logistics of UA-ing but that seems like a good place to start.

For more thoughts on how to help:

teh1337one39 karma

I work with a few people who were homeless at some point. One guy I'm pretty good friends with and he says all the time that they are homeless because they don't care, don't try, and most of the time are addicted to drugs or alcohol.

For most homeless people, no matter what you do you can't help them because they are far too self destructive.

cesiumtea30 karma


smellsliketuna17 karma

It's also important to clarify that homeless does not always mean living on the street. There are a lot of homeless people who sleep on friends' couches, live in shelters or temporary housing, etc. They are just as homeless as the people on the street.

cesiumtea8 karma


capnjasbo3 karma

Every single dollar counts, which is why I think we should make sure people like your family get more of it to prevent ever having to sleep in your car. If less people are "milking resources" than maybe more people like your family can utilize them.

capnjasbo2 karma

Amen! I hear so many stories and met so many people with a situation like yours. They explained how the assistance from the government was barely enough or not enough. Then I'd meet countless people who just use 100% of the money on drugs. That's why I think we should UA (among other things) to make sure people like your family can get enough assistance in the first place so you're never on the street.

ieatlotsofcakes3 karma

Yeah I agree.

It's also in some way mocking homeless people. Look how they live for a few days, but don't worry you won't have to bare it for long, you can leave when you find it difficult and go back to your warm lovely homes.

Wouldn't it be better to give the video recorder to someone that was actually homeless? So they have an opportunity to record their actual lives and show people what it's actually like?

KittyKittyCat_2 karma

I honestly feel like that would be the best idea. At least then a portion of their life could be recorded and they wouldn't just be another forgotten person who lived and died and that nobody will remember.

As right as ammonbh is about them selling the camera for food, maybe there would be one homeless person who is actually willing to tell their story. They otherwise would most likely not get another chance to tell someone about their lives, and about themselves, so this could almost be a cleansing experience. Or at least one interesting perspective on a different form of life than what we are used to.

capnjasbo1 karma

Hey great idea! Well, here's an interview with a formerly homeless man, Bo, who wanted to tell his story.

You can search YouTube and find tons of videos like that, though. The idea of the hidden glasses was observing those who don't know they're being observed. If you give them a camera I think it'd be really interesting but not an authentic experience. A bit of a catch 22, because if I film then it's not authentic since I'm not actually homeless. If there's a next time, maybe I'll do that.

badamant1 karma

Yup. When you can just go home to doctor/food/love/respect/safety it's called "camping".

capnjasbo1 karma

Agreed. From my blog:

"My self-image was mutilated after just 2 weeks of people treating me like shit, despite knowing, (in the back of my head), I could get off the streets at any time. I can't fathom what it's like when you truly have no place to go."

airscottie216 karma

I did enjoy your documentary, and I, too, found it eyeopening, but I think "sloppy" is an understatement. Parts of it seem very professional (premise, execution, storytelling) but the soundtrack and ridiculous voice-over that you do when describing a hobo-term really detract from the experience. You have enough here to really say something and I commend you for having the balls to go through with this, but the amateurish and downright immature nature of some of the audio presentation has got to be reworked. Rerecord some of those things, get a less obtrusive and grating soundtrack, and you might really have something here.

This isn't meant to insult in any way, this really is great. But parts of it are really keeping it from being ready for prime time.

woodysortofword77 karma

Those definitions were absolutely terrible. The weird fake british voice really takes away from the entire project.

generalchaos31616 karma

I had to stop watching about 3 seconds into the first one...

capnjasbo13 karma

Literally couldn't finish? That's a bummer...

generalchaos3169 karma

Well, I would say that I couldn't even start given how early I stopped watching. Others have chimed in with valid points which I agree with.

You posted this because you clearly want people to watch it and learn something about what you experienced. People are busy and/or have low attention spans. You really only have a couple of minutes at max to convince them that the time they "spend" on your video will be worth it.

capnjasbo10 karma

The low attention span was why I tried (and apparently failed) in making this entertaining enough for people to watch 38 minutes of my intended message. But yeah, I'm 100% open to completely re-working this so it reaches more people. That's the whole point, eh?

capnjasbo15 karma

Hey, thanks for the constructive criticism. No offense taken, as far as the internet goes you could've been much more harsh.

So, my original plan was to just add variety to the narration with a girl's voice. I was gonna' go to a hostel and find someone with an accent but while editing I just used my own voice "temporarily." Well, when I showed one of my friends and mentioned going to a hostel to find a girl to re-record he assured me it was fine.

I should've asked anonymous strangers on the internet for advice; they don't pull punches ;)

Long story short, during this project I got so drunk I blacked out & woke up in a dumpster. I had lost all my camera equipment, (including the spy glasses themselves), and my external hard drive with countless hours of interviews. Luckily, I had an old external that crashed. So, I restored it and scavenged together the remaining footage to make the piece of shit you see today :D

Ah well, maybe I'll make a legit version of this someday. But for now, I hope it educates/entertains folks.

mochafrappuccino5 karma

I hope you do make a more professional version! I think this was really very insightful. I'm a social work major and we've been talking about homelessness and mental health care a lot in class recently, and I would love to send this to my professor once it's a little more polished.

capnjasbo5 karma

Right on. I am so exhausted with this project that I wasn't thinking about doing a professional version, but the consensus is overwhelming. The least I could do is just hand my footage over to someone. Also, I noticed you had some objective/intelligent comments, mochafrappuccino. You seemed to get my message 100%.

semi_modular_mind2 karma

Hey man, I haven't watched (yet) but good on you for taking the time to do this, it must have been a real experience! Sucks you lost all your camera equipment, that must have been a terrible hangover... Maybe it's worth trying again, editing and voice-over's.

Anyway, since this is an AmA, a question, if your still around 2 hour later.

What did you think of the attitudes of other homeless people towards you, were they friendly and sharing or more hostile or indifferent towards you? Any interesting stories or moment's that haven't been mentioned?

Good luck, don't let this AmA get you down, you got it really easy compared too the MTV comedian.

capnjasbo2 karma

I skimmed a few of the comments on that MTV comedian page.... wow. The internet's anonymity helps to get people's unfiltered opinions, (which I have to appreciate with the whole hidden camera premise of this doc), but I think it also allows for an overflow of hate. I just watched VICE's documentary about how people gave death threats to the dude who chugs wood paint on YouTube. Like, how can you be that upset by some guy being retarded online? Well, as a fellow online retard, I feel his pain ;_;

As far as the other attitudes of the homeless, they gave me more love than any other person. I talk about it in the sections of my blog called "My Experience" & "Being Homeless is...."

I made a lot of good friends during this project whom I'm still in contact with. CTRl + F search this AMA for "USMC" to read about my opinion of the home bum father figure. Easy come easy go, so it's a bit easier to share but it still means a lot when people treat you with humanity. So, yeah there were some kind, funny, warm people who I'd hang out with for a coupe days/weeks but would still sleep on my pack in case they stole something from me. I'd be around some of the street kids while they talked about how they jacked X, Y, & Z from one of their camping buddies. It just came with the territory and they were still friends. It was kind've refreshing in a way. No hidden agenda BS that you deal with on a regular basis. People were true to their desires. So that's kind've cool but overall I think it's best to completely isolate yourself from street friends if you're trying to escape that rut.

capnjasbo3 karma

As far as interesting stories I haven't mentioned: I started to become close with this one guy I camped with on the Platte River. It may seem hypocritical as someone who made a documentary based on deceit, BUT I really don't like being dishonest. Especially, when I feel like I'm getting close to some one. So, I asked him if he could keep a secret and told him about the project (it was while my camera was broken & I was just getting f#cked up anyway). Sure enough, he let it slip a few times and I'd get pissed off. So, when I started to get close with the sparkly-fingernail-smoking-meth guy I fought my guilt and didn't tell him. I justified it by telling myself that I'd tell him after the project and remain friends. He started staying on the couch of this chick he was dating so we exchanged contact information. I spaced out that he could google my email and stumble upon the blog I started to write about my experience. When I saw him next he was acting weird (from meth in retrospect) and so I started acting weird. We did this ambiguous exchange of questions tango along with a Larry David skeptical staring contest for quite a bit until he asked me if I was an undercover cop. ME:"What!? No! What?" HIM:Then what's your deal? Why do you always disappear for a couple days? How do you not know about the basics of the streets?" So, I explained the project and my intentions. It was like that cliche premise from 10 Things I Hate About You. I found myself echoing (sincerely) the same type of shit Heath Ledger was saying to win his girlfriend's love, but it was junkie bromance instead. ME: "I promise, I was gonna' tell you after the project. I didn't want you to find out this way." HIM: "So, what? You're just like some rich kid from the suburbs who's doing this to show people what it's like?" ME: "No, no, no! Well, kind've. I want to show people what it's like, but everything I told you was true. I really was homeless hitch hiking in San Fran. And, I'm not a rich kid. I work two jobs saving every penny and-" HIM:"What the fuck, man!?!" We continued this little tango outside of a liquor store while people stared at us, until finally he went in to buy a 40 for me and a lighter for him. We'd walk two steps and then stop and argue. Walk two steps then stop and argue. It was Fall at this point, so my fingers holding the 40 were throbbing. ME: "Can we sit in that stairwell for a sec?" HIM: "No, man 'cuz if I go down there I'm gonna' shoot up meth." ME: "I don't care, man." HIM: "HEY! Wanna' film it?" ME: "Hell yeah! If you're down. I promise I won't show your face..." After that we had this new level of trust it seemed. I could get him arrested with the footage I got and he could get me stabbed with the knowledge he had. We were bonding up until that point so that wasn't necessary but I think it really cemented things into place and proved our intentions. After that, he was on board and willing to help me get some gnarly footage. He told our mutual friend and took me into a squat to film them shooting up heroin. During that time they tried to get me to at least smoke heroin to prove I wasn't a cop but I insisted I'd rather delete the footage. After they continued to get high they felt like dicks and just dropped it. To this day, I'm in contact with both of them. The sparkly-finger-nail-meth one is now sober and said the Cranberries - Salvation cover made him cry & he was glad to be alive. The heroin one sent me two poems I added to my submissions part of the blog if you're interested.

foureyedinabox2 karma

Please Capnjasbo, post links to /r/documentary, /r/editing, /r/videography /r/docproduction

Ask around for help from Denver or Colorado film makers, someone is bound to want to help you. If I lived in Denver, I would help you but I don't.

I really believe this project needs proper professional attention and it could go far. Look at the response from this AMA from the Denver community members, you could have "Supersize me" level experiment which to lead to greater national attention to homelessness.

capnjasbo2 karma

Hey thanks for the feedback/advice. I don't live in Denver anymore either. I'm in Vietnam right now. I can always mail my footage, though. I'll see where things go with this AMA to decide what to do with it.

foureyedinabox6 karma

I agree with airscottie but I'd go one step further and say this footage should be entirely reworked from the ground up. An entire new edit is necessary.

My honest advice; hand this footage over to an experienced documentary director and editor. Work with them and let them take the lead in creating a real documentary film from this footage.

You did your part and I commend you for that but to have this footage reach a real audience, the footage needs to be completely reproached.

Let humor play out in the footage, the honest interactions between people, not in the amateur post production work, not in fake accents or bad voice over.

Do a Kickstarter campaign, raise some money to shoot additional B-roll and interviews. Take this seriously, don't waste your time by making this a joke and doing all the post production work yourself when it's clearly not to your strong suit.

This experiment and raw footage has the potential in the right hands to be a powerful documentary which could get festival attention and online distribution.

capnjasbo2 karma

Didn't have the money for that, but now that it's out there & under review I'd gladly hand my footage over. As far as the kickstarter, in order to get the glasses I used kickstarter. I didn't make my goal so I funded the remainder. But if you know anybody...

foureyedinabox1 karma

Use, it's just like kickstarter but you dont have to make a firm goal to rise money.

I do know documentary film makers but none in the Denver area. Ask around.

capnjasbo2 karma

I'm not in Denver anymore anyway. But if anybody reading this wants to re-edit my documentary into something watchable, or has connections to VICE or something of the like, then please email me :) [email protected]

zenki916-1 karma

Wait...what's was your question for OP regarding his AMA?

airscottie1 karma

I guess it's more of a comment than a question, but I guess I want to see what he thinks of similar criticism, since he even addressed it a bit in his original post.

capnjasbo1 karma

No, it's all good. I appreciate all feedback. I'm sure I'll get comments wayyy harsher than that. I just try to pull the move where you make fun of yourself first to lessen the blow of others. Like the fat kid who does the truffle shuffle to break the ice. _^


How rich are your parents?

spicy_jose47 karma

Hey this guy might come from a wealthy background and is trying to do something to better understand the other side of the tracks, let's ridicule him!

capnjasbo11 karma

I'll bend over and take all the criticism about the low quality, lack of creativity, immaturity, and overall sh*ttiness of my documentary. But I am far from rich. Let me have at least one thing, ffs. I work two jobs and save every penny for stupid projects like this. That's why I got so heated when I would travel "hobo style" and see people living more lavish lives with zero work. The incentives in the country are as messed up as this AMA.

goodguysteve12 karma

Well they did get him those sweet spy glasses for his birthday so they can't be doing too badly.

capnjasbo3 karma

"Good Guy Steve" would do minor research before being sarcastic to a stranger online. Just sayin...

argylesweater16 karma

I work at a non-profit that facilitates urban mission trips for middle school, high school, and college age students. I worked for them in Denver a few years ago, and now for the same organization in Houston. This was really a great thing for me to see.

Something that really is great about Denver is how much assistance there is. The city is very forward-thinking about acknowledging the problem of homelessness and creating places that meet the immediate needs, like you pointed out.

It amazes me how different two urban settings can be. Houston has all sorts of ordinances to keep the homeless from being seen during the day. They are trying to keep the places that help out strictly downtown. Houston is SO big that that causes a problem for those who live far away from downtown.

Thanks for doing this project.

gavitpa13 karma

Yes, but this also makes me wonder if you tried the same experiment in Detroit, or perhaps a less progressive city than Denver, would you experience the same amount of help?

argylesweater2 karma

That was what I was trying to say. I think it's just interesting how different cities are less progressive than Denver. I think it would definitely be harder to find the same amount of help in a different city.

capnjasbo2 karma

From my blog:

"Disclaimer: Although these last couple of nights have been cold as hell, doing this project in the summer/fall is a completely different experience in comparison to the long winter. Or so I'm told. Not to mention the fact that Colorado is notorious for its plethora of programs and just overall awesome treatment towards the homeless. If I did this project in Detroit or New York I'd probably be dead by now. Colorado's so called "ghettos" ain't got shit on the rest of the country. "

PineconeShuff15 karma

first impression 3 minutes in. the stupid voice-overs for the definitions of things are just that... stupid. they make it seem like you thought this was a big joke. i will continue watching

capnjasbo5 karma

Hey, thanks for continuing to watch. Most people didn't get that far...

samglover258 karma

What do you think the biggest misconception people have about the homeless is?

capnjasbo11 karma

Biggest misconception? That's a tough one, but if I had to choose one it'd be that giving spare change is helping.

I think the 2nd would be that people have an outdated perception of the homeless. In "developed countries" the causes and problems have changed. There's no shortage of food like in certain countries/time periods. As Alex, (the homeless kiwi in Vancouver), suggests I think we should (re)diagnose the causes of homelessness in order to truly help.

squatly7 karma

Hey, please provide proof by updating your site/twitter/facebook or something. Once this is done, i will reinstate the post, thanks.

capnjasbo2 karma

Updating my site? How so? I'm no longer homeless. I'm in Vietnam now. I updated my blog with links to this AMA. And I posted a link to this AMA on my facebook.

capnjasbo2 karma

I'll post something on my twitter.

squatly2 karma

That's perfect, the post is back up

capnjasbo3 karma

Thanks & my bad. I'm a n00b to reddit.

abelkonweb6 karma

While I think this experiment was a fantastic idea, I also believe that the public won't help those who won't help themselves.

regalce5 karma


capnjasbo1 karma

It's up to debate on how to help, but I think I know where to start. In the video Bo says, "I spent a couple really, really, really cold nights out there and that was more motivation than any." IMHO, if you want to help: treat them with respect and give the tough love ultimatum: streets or sober. Seems simple enough to me, but it's hard to get everyone on the same page.

gx154 karma

What is your opinion on "Home bums"? I watched the beginning of the video and the two bums were acting like they are proud of the way that they make money...

capnjasbo14 karma

He was proud but probably only among his peers. 16:26 describes home bums the best. The home bum father figure was a real nice guy. Rough around the edges but you could tell he had a good heart.

In order for people to change, they have to reach a "bottom" with their addiction. You couldn't see it 'cuz I concealed his face, but his right eye was swollen, bruised, pus filled and apparently "legally blind." He laughed and called it his "money maker" 'cuz people feel bad and give him wayyy more cash. If you're content sleeping behind/eating out of dumpsters, and rationalize severe medical issues then you probably won't ever reach a "bottom."

IDK, he was a USMC veteran so he had my respect. I found that home bums are just more lonesome than anything else. They'll gladly share what little they do have just for some company. In the end, it's up to debate/your prerogative if you want to support their habit, but just treat them with some humanity.

educatedconsumer3 karma

You PRETENDED to be homeless. Big difference when you have a safety net to fall on.

capnjasbo1 karma

I agree. That's why I made sure to interview a lot of people who are or have been homeless.

From my blog: "Disclaimer: Although these last couple of nights have been cold as hell, doing this project in the summer/fall is a completely different experience in comparison to the long winter. Or so I'm told. Not to mention the fact that Colorado is notorious for its plethora of programs and just overall awesome treatment towards the homeless. If I did this project in Detroit or New York I'd probably be dead by now. Colorado's so called 'ghettos' ain't got shit on the rest of the country. "

qwertyqaz23143 karma

why ?

capnjasbo17 karma

Well, I lived with the homeless while hitch hiking around and when I'd tell people my experience & conclusions on how to truly help no one would believe me. They'd just dismiss me like the girl at 21:40.

I'd think, "Man, if only they saw what I saw..." light bulb

PawnShop8043 karma

What was the most "eye-opening" thing you experienced?

capnjasbo2 karma

Ah! A question. It's hard to find them while sifting through hateful criticism. Hrmmm. Well, you don't make a documentary unless you're passionate enough to do so. So, I already knew about the easily accessible assistance programs & drugs being the #1 problem. BUT the most eye-opening experience was actually developing solid relationships with some of these folks and hearing their in depth perspective. Of those, the most shocking was the LGBT thing. Maybe those statistics aren't 100% accurate but the problem is real. You meet soooo many queer kids who get more love on the streets than they do at home. It's really sad that such an easily avoidable cause to homeless still happens to this day. It was shocking to me because the worst you hear is parent's making their gay child feel like sh*t with "pray away the gay pamphlets." But you'd never fathom someone literally kicking their kids out. You'd be surprised how many of the homeless are queer. & that's not just the younger generation. I met a bunch of older home bum types who were gay, but wouldn't admit it. They'd deny it but get hammered and start touching each other in the park. It got me thinking... 1.) some of them might be men who aren't actually born gay but more like truckers and prisoners who's sex drive has no other outlet. 2.) some of them are just from an older generation. Back in the day it was more common for gay men to hide it. Married men going to sketchy places to have secret gay sex. I don't know if you've met a gay man from that generation but it does major psychological damage and could even cause huge alcohol/drug problems & even lead to (you guessed it) homelessness. Yeah, that's a bit of a stretch, I know. But it's just a theory.

Cool_Guy133 karma

Did you actually use heroin?

capnjasbo3 karma

No, sir. I have never used heroin, crack, or meth. I see what it does to people. I don't mean to mislead. I just fell into getting stoned and drunk all day. There were countless times where I was offered harder drugs. While filming the close up drug use they wanted me to at least smoke heroin to prove I wasn't a cop. I insisted I'd rather delete the footage and I'd do anything else to gain their trust, but as they got higher they felt like dicks and just dropped it.

Just for the record, Alex, the homeless kiwi, mentioned that he fell into the depression but never did any drugs. Also, I have a background of alcoholism so I'm sure that didn't help. But most people on the streets are there partially 'cuz of their addictive personalities.

JudgeRoot3 karma

As a Denver resident, this pisses me off.

capnjasbo5 karma

Yeah, pretty frustrating, but it's a sign of how lucky we are to live there. I'm in Vietnam and it goes without saying there's nothing like what we have in Denver. It's beautiful how generous mankind can be but it's disgusting how ignorant/hedonistic we can be.

revanfiliaexdeus3 karma

Hey, Capn! I traveled through Denver as a hitch hiker a few months back, though I honestly hated being there. I was kicked out of an Orthodox church and was nearly kicked out of a nondenominational one; the former for sleeping there and the latter for talking theology.

I spent a good bit of my time in front of the capitol building at the park with the other travelers, tramps, and dirty kids.

capnjasbo2 karma

Hey, right on! It seems that everyone who's experienced homelessness has no problem with my project. So far anyway. Yeah, Lincoln Park was surprisingly clique-ish! The Juggalos, the crust punks, the train kids, the Native Americans, the stoners, the gangsters, etc. Although they sat in their separate groups they seemed to intermingle.

Yeah, there was a story I heard from fellow homeless who said something like: A hobo walks into a church for their Sunday service but they turn him away because he's too dirty. He walks out and sees Jesus standing outside drinking wine. The hobo wonders why he's not INSIDE the church and Jesus replies with, "Yeah, they have no room for me either." As an atheist, I get pretty cynical with the treatment you described, but it's overwhelmingly more good treatment than bad from my experience. Not to mention, I have yet to come across a homeless organization founded by atheists. Happy travels!

Nikkithe8th3 karma

I would be interested in watching a "sister" video to this from the perspective of a female. I think the problems that women face, while not necessarily more dire, are different.

capnjasbo1 karma

I would love to see one. Because women face "different" problems there are shelters/programs specifically for women & children. I was staying at one shelter and overheard the staff talking about a "lady coming in who just got raped and is pretty shooken up."

Also, in some of the footage I lost I interviewed a fireman who said he was on a murder/rape call. When he got to the abandoned building he walked up to someone covered in a blanket. Turns out the guy got raped and they threw the girlfriend off the roof.

I really lucked out. I hear a lot of stories of gnarly stuff that goes on on the streets...

lecrazedutch2 karma, really?

capnjasbo1 karma

The movie is on the first part of the blog! But I will try to change it (if it's not too late) so the YouTube video pops up on the reddit post.

dannybuntu1 karma

i was expecting a movie.

capnjasbo1 karma

The movie is on the first part of the blog!

clintonjh882 karma

Did you encounter Dry Bones while you were doing this? They are a homeless outreach program that works in Denver. I did a week long mission trip with them last year... It was really eye opening seeing how people lived and were treated.

The one guy I talked to most from the streets was nicknamed Cheeto. Big dude with a beard and always wearing spiked things. Really nice guy

capnjasbo1 karma

I never heard of them until someone posted about them on this reddit. But there are so many shelters it's hard to make it to them all. They must be doing something right, because they seem just like the program described by Alex, the homeless kiwi. Never ran into Cheeto, though. But yeah, people are people. I wish more people volunteered like you. But to be honest, I used to give change once in a while & only volunteered when my school forced me to. So, props to you!

NigelTheNarwhal2 karma

So far I thinks its great had to close my eyes when people started shooting heroin, shit just bothers me

capnjasbo1 karma

Yeah, it freaked me out too. I'm a huge pussy when getting blood drawn at the doctors. But being behind a camera helps for some reason. Also, I was going for the "scared straight" approach with the close up drug use scene so I'm glad it bugged you? :P

optize2 karma

Link to "spy glasses"?

PsuedoNom2 karma

I'm on my phone so I haven't watched it yet. I'm a little worried I'm going to be on this video. I spend five days a week on the Auraria campus and some days i am patient and give money/food, but some days i get real annoyed and ignore them. I guess just my own anxiety on whether or not I'm treating others like they are human all the time makes your project effective. It does make me have a mini panic feeling when i see some homeless people and i just think about how hopeless they must feel everyday. I couldn't imagine living like that.

capnjasbo1 karma

Auraria campus has a church that feeds all the time. If you feel bad you can give them a coupon from or you can go to the St. Francis day shelter. They have a long list/schedule of places around Denver that feed the homeless.

moosestache02 karma

I lived in Denver for a few years, and have probably worked at some point with a lot of the Organizations that you met. Denver has a lot of great people that really care. The guy in the video that says you can't just feed the beast is really right.

There are only 2 ways to get out of the homeless life, or really 2 reasons they are there. The first is all about addiction. Drugs have ruined their lives and they cant get out of the cycle. They have to come to a realization that they need to stop doing drugs to get off the street. You can't help them, they have to hit rock bottom. The other is the depressed person, they are on the street because they don't think they deserve better. They may or may not be addicted, they usually choose to be on the streets. These people need love and structure in their lives.

Throwing money at homeless people doesn't help. Throwing money at good Orgs DOES help. If you live in Denver, check out these people:

Denver Rescue Mission: about a 6 month program, provides food and shelter, and rehab. One of those you gotta stay straight. That is super important.

Dry Bones Denver: these guys are my favorite people in Denver. Work specifically with homeless youth, and just love them. They have created a whole community that eats together, they go bowling, and just teach people they have worth. And are connected to other orgs to get them back on their feet.

Purple Door Coffee: Personal friends of mine, starting a coffee shop to employ homeless teens to give them jobs skills and a good reference.

Seriously, if you want to help, help these people.

capnjasbo1 karma

Right on! I added your suggestion as a comment on the how to help part of the blog.

For the record, my favorites are Step13 and The Samaritan House (across from Denver Rescue Mission). While I stayed at the Rescue Mission I met a lot of people getting clean, doing well, finding jobs, etc. But I also met a lot of people sneaking in drugs and working loop holes. When I was at the Samaritan House I found they were very strict about that. They filter those who truly want to change with those who just "work the system." Of course, there's still a lot of relapse but it sure does help to be around like minded people.

Never heard of those last two but I'll try to spread the word, they seem legit.

ClintEastward2 karma


capnjasbo2 karma

Sing it, brotha/sista!

"I'd say, put efforts into helping people who are in danger of becoming homeless. If we know that certain populations are vulnerable to falling into this (war veterans, run aways, the mentally ill), before the cycle drops them at the doorstep of homelessness, reach out to them and give them options while they are still receptive. Because it seems once they are there, they become institutionalized."

Angie312 karma

I live in Baltimore and see this every day on the JFK on the way home. Same people, some with prosthetic limbs even. I've even seen some of Baltimore's finest giving tickets to some standing at the corner. This is really eye opening for me as I do occasionally give them money when rounding the corner. I now know why an old friend of mine addicted to Heroin is doing the "HomeBum" thing. Same corner every day. He had a good job, but was injured, tried to work the system and fell into the drug despair and is now begging for money. Its pretty sad. Its obvious now that some choose to be there. Like the big girl who announced she has money for a home but chooses to be on the street. Why would anyone want to live like that? Its dumbfounding to me.
Thank you for posting this. I've changed my thinking on "doing the right thing" or what I perceived to be as helpful for a homeless person.

capnjasbo1 karma

Hey thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you could look past the quality and get the message I was tryin' to send.

horriblewithwomen2 karma

My cousin is homeless and he introduced me to the world of homeless people. Overall, I came out with a feeling of hatred towards the homeless. I'm not talking about families where the bread winner lost their job and became homeless while trying to get on their feet... No, I'm talking about the average homeless person who stands on the corner begging for 'food money' only to immediately turn around and spend it on drugs. I met MANY homeless people through my cousin and that sums up every person I met (including my cousin). My cousin has a degree and he could work... But, he quit his job because he enjoys traveling, begging and drugs more than working.

capnjasbo1 karma

The way I look at it, it should be like a right of passage. I think everyone who can't afford to "backpack Europe" should go travel "hobo style." I think supporting those people (crust punks, beatniks, 'n whatnot) with rides, food, shelter, etc. should be encouraged. I think everyone should just be skeptical and try to figure out who's truly in need, who's just havin' fun, & who's a mooch. Easier said than done, though...

Damasticator2 karma

Why is it always a white guy that decides to do things like this? I'm seriously asking.

soulsunsearching1 karma

That dude from The Fugees did it.

capnjasbo1 karma

Oh yeah! My friend told me about that. Just googled it and it's called Skid Row (2007). Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 83%. Better than my rating :P

CommonFrequency2 karma

Bro...I don't even know what to say. This was, wow.

How long were you sucked into the spiral of depression and drug use? How did you clean up while going through withdrawal?

capnjasbo1 karma

TBH, I have never touched crack, meth, or heroin. I am referring to just waking up at the shelter and walking with my homeless buddies to the nearest park to get fucked up. Smokin' weed and takin' shots. Far from the serious stuff, but it's easy to just say "fuck it." It was only a couple of weeks. I got stoned with one of my buddies (the one in the video smoking meth) and he was showing me his knife & talkin' about robbing people. I was so paranoid and freaked out I snuck away and took a bus an hour away to climb a roof & sleep. That was when I started to ease up. After that the next couple of months I was off and on sleeping on the streets/in shelters trying to focus on finishing the project.

I told myself I wouldn't drink during the project, but the first night I ended up taken some swigs after my home bum father figure kept pushin' for it. If you have an addictive personality the streets are the worst place for you.

"Staying sober on the streets is like trying to keep your hair dry in the ocean."

Also for the record, I have a history of alcoholism in my family as well. It wasn't until I got so drunk I blacked out and woke up in a dumpster that I decided to go to AA. Almost lost the entire project. I've slipped up a couple times since then but am going to an AA meeting tomorrow.

Just had to make that clear. Don't want to mislead.

mikey4202 karma

Wow, I'm pretty sure I've eaten with that kiwi with dreadlocks in Vancouver at a soup kitchen.

As someone who's been homeless previously I liked your video it was good.

capnjasbo1 karma

Hey thanks a lot man. Yeah, I met him serendipitously in Bangkok.

Most people think I'm being harsh towards the homeless, but so far every homeless person agrees with it.

macksum2 karma

Great idea. Terrible audio quality, terrible music and terrible voiceovers for the definitions of the slang makes this video UNWATCHABLE. You should really redo this or find someone to collaborate with you on this to help you make it better. I'm sure a million people would love to help you with this project. I wouldn't call it finished yet.

capnjasbo2 karma

I'm surprised on the music comments. I agree on all the other stuff being sh*tty, but can you elaborate on the music? Not that I know what I'm doing, but I don't want the typical ambient, sad, violin music. Was it the genre or quality? Or just that it didn't suit the message?

MadHatter55872 karma


capnjasbo2 karma

Thanks. I put a lot of money and time into this sh*tty project. I want to act noble and say, "as long as the message gets out," but that's bullshit. I'm bummed that some people literally couldn't get through it. Still worth it though :)

FuryofaThousandFaps2 karma

There is nothing I fear more than homelessness. I would rather kill myself.

capnjasbo2 karma

Lawl. So, I mentioned somewhere in this AMA that I lucked out 'cuz there's a lot of gnarly stuff that happens on the street. BUT I have to say that most people are kind hearted.

Restore your faith in humanity by watching this PBS documentary about these 2 guys who travel the world and find hospitality in the most dangerous places.

PrinceBarrington2 karma


capnjasbo2 karma

Thanks! I'm glad you had that response. Most people just get so irritated they don't want to help at all. I've never been to the UK so I'll keep my mouth shut on that, but maybe if I do a quality version of this I'll gather more footage while homeless there.

filmfiend9992 karma

Did you experience any of the ultra-violence?

capnjasbo2 karma

"Ultra-violence?" I think that was my poorly recorded narration where I attempt to say, "It's no surprise 'The Triangle' attracts a lot of violent crime and is flanked by two of the biggest homeless shelters."

I lucked out but you hear a lot of messed up stories about the street. CTRL-F search this reddit post for "rape" to hear a story a fireman told me.

capnjasbo2 karma

Ah, I'm retarded- now I get it, droog. I heard stories about that, which is why I slept on rooftops or with friends.

UKDream182 karma

I watched your documentary.. Awesome job!

I've gone on quite a few "missions trips" to Los Angeles and San Francisco through my church, and it was an eyeopening experience. However, seeing it actually from a homeless person's perspective was entirely new to me. Good job! Definitely gained some perspective.

capnjasbo3 karma

Glad you liked it! My first homeless experience was along the West Coast. You guys treat the homeless amazingly. Keep it up!

shutupgetoverit2 karma

Hey, dude, there's a lot of very cool info and you obviously put a lot into the creation of this and I appreciate that but all the stylistic choices were pretty bad and I'd recommend changing the "hobo/hippie" font to something simpler, the voice over (as people have already said), and the music doesn't fit in (and you probably don't have the legal rights to it all). I really do hope you go somewhere with this though!

Question: How long has this entire process been, so far? And how long do you think it will take to complete it?

capnjasbo1 karma

I made sure to ask and got permission to use the music. Maybe that's why it's out of place? I just don't want to do the stereotypical sad/ambient/violin music. Well, I've been doing it for the past couple of months. I was homeless for 3-4 weeks straight and then after that would do it off and on because I had to work. I ended up losing all my equipment (including the external hard drive with all my footage) and had to start over editing. The hardest part was scavenging footage to edit without owning a computer capable of doing so. But yeah, it's been like 6 months or something, but a lot of that was just hanging out with the homeless to be fair. I made quite a few solid friends from the experience.

I'm so burn out (no pun intended) on this crappy project. But if people are willing to help pull the weight I'd gladly tweak this and make it the quality I envisioned.

spaghettigod2 karma


capnjasbo1 karma

[removed] What?!?

The video is on the first page of

anonymous_rhombus2 karma

I really enjoyed this documentary. Great job. I live in Denver and I learned a lot. Thank you for doing this. I think you've been too heavily criticized for your production choices. I don't think it lacks seriousness, it's honest. I enjoyed the Death Grips too.

capnjasbo2 karma

Yeah, I was surprised on the criticism of the music. I guess the lighthearted synth pop wouldn't fit in the average somber documentary about the homeless, but that's just not my style. I clearly don't have the production value to pull off a serious documentary but maybe I went overboard... Regardless, happy you liked it & learned a lot.

MelTorment2 karma

Thought first then question: I agree with the review regarding the VO. You need better sound equipment and please don't do the falsetto voice when reading your definitions. That trivialized the story for me. It sounded like you were doing the narration over speakerphone.

What was your favorite moment while living in the streets? What was your least favorite?

Also unclear, did you live for a few months straight as homeless or did you go home and come back?

capnjasbo3 karma

I was homeless straight for 3-4 weeks consecutively. Then would go home and then back off an on for the remaining months. My lease was up before the project and so I would house hop at my mom's or at my friend's party house. But I can confidently say that the majority of those months were spent on the streets/in the shelters. Nonetheless, still kind've pulling a Thoreau.

Just had to make that clear & not mislead.

1.)My favorite moment? I keep thinking of an experience but immediately after think about the shitty part that came with it. Well, I had a lot of fun when I was camping on the Platte river with a guy I met in the shelter who had a laptop he carried with him. We'd just get high and watch movies/play video games on his laptop. We were eating at a day shelter when we ran into some hippie girls who were rubber-tramping around the states, festival hopping. The girls flew a sign and we all got drunk and I ended up hooking up with one of them. Oh, I also met a girl at a homeless shelter who was living in Section 8 housing who let me crash with her for a bit. That was pretty great while it lasted.

2.) My least favorite part? Finding out I had AIDS from the hippie chick. No, just joking. Um, honestly it'd have to be the way the streets break your spirit. When people first would ignore me (cuz they thought I was gonna' ask for change) I purposefully would smile all big and just ask them how there day was. I kept trying to combat the assumptions of people while all Gung-ho about the project, but it took less than 2 weeks to just feel like a piece of shit. I would try to get out of the funk while living at a shelter & working. But there's always someone outside the shelter you know (which is awesome as far as the community/friendliness) who is offering some sort of drug. I would go jog one day and the next day get stoned and kicked out of the shelter for a no call no show. Wandering around for hours, all f#cked up trying to find somewhere to stay. Then when you finally find somewhere warm/safe enough to stay you know you'll get 3 hours of sleep before you have to bus to work. It's the kind've lifestyle that makes you want to just say "f#ck it" and not show up to work and just get high in parks all day instead.

phletch1 karma

I saw your video on facebook. Interesting stuff!

capnjasbo1 karma

Thanks! Facebook was nothing but friendly (go figure), but reddit is relentless :/ Makes me appreciate comments like yours a lot more, though :>

misslolafox1 karma

So how do you feel now, post-"homeless"? Do you feel displaced after this experience? Also wondering, did you give money to homeless people before the documentary, and do you now, post documentary?

Props, by the way. I live in the city of Denver, we have a very unique crop of homeless people here....

capnjasbo1 karma

Well, I travel "hobo style" every summer so it wasn't as big of a culture shock. But this was the first time I actually stayed in one area and became friends/made a routine. I now have a more empathetic view, but I gotta' stress that it's not the same when you know you have somewhere to "fallback."

If I'm drunk I'll share booze. But since the project I've been in SE Asia. Little kids come up to you begging and that's really hard. Because they obviously don't have the same government assistance here. But apparently it's like the Slumdog Millionaire orphan thing.

IDK, I try to do my best treating them like equals but struggle with the "I'm such a good person for talking to you" BS kind of attitude. On a lighter note, I keep in touch with most of the homeless I met while doing this project and the one shooting meth is now in AA. :)

just01 karma

For a first cut I think this was awesome. Keep up the good work!

capnjasbo2 karma

Thanks for the support. I knew my project was crappy, but holy moly, these reddit guys are harsh! I'll letcha' know if I make a legit version.

PKhes1 karma

I really do feel bad for the homeless but is it true that some of them "could" do something to get off the streets but put no effort in doing so?

capnjasbo1 karma

I'm sure there's plenty who put no effort in doing so. Like the "home bums."

But I was surprised to find out a lot of them are working. I met a bunch who have full time or part time jobs. It's just like quick sand when trying to get off the streets. This one guy was really pissed at his friend for joining a rehabilitation program at a shelter without telling him.

I also met a bunch of people who would work at the temp agency and be doing really good for a week or so and then just go on a bender and be back at square 1.

Cridec1 karma

Great work, REDO to make more professional, and you will have something serious, that you could market.

capnjasbo2 karma

Thanks for the support. We'll see what I (or a professional) can do with it.

realpigasus1 karma

West. End. Girls.

capnjasbo1 karma

The music by Inouwee sounds 80's? Or is that an elaborate way of saying, "I'm better off dead?"

Videogeddon1 karma

Maybe someone already mentioned it but this post reminds me of "dark days" which I highly recommend.

capnjasbo1 karma

Right on, I'll be sure to check that out.

MickiFreeIsNotAGirl1 karma

Is your name Jack Kerouac?
I loved your book.

capnjasbo1 karma

“The best teacher is experience and not through someone's distorted point of view” ― Jack Kerouac

Frank_Jesus1 karma

When I was 28, I went and lived on the street in New York. I did this in the winter and I left because I kept getting institutionalized. I was surprised by the consistent generosity and assistance that other people living on the street would give me. It was very cold and very hard, but more terrible things happened to me in my hometown than ever happened when I was on the street.

However, I think that homeless people often face horrible challenges. Many don't have the ability to socialize, are struggling with mental issues and substance abuse issues, and don't have any way to take advantage of social programs. Also, I spent some time in Boston throughout this period of time and found there were far fewer resources there.

Denver looks like a pretty good place to be homeless, but there are lots of people out there all over the country, and the world, who don't have the advantages OP did.

I admire this project a lot, though. Good work.

capnjasbo1 karma

Hey, thanks man. That's exactly my point. The problem with homelessness isn't food, it's the f*cked up lives they've had to live. We need to first diagnose the things that lead to the homelessness in the first place like Alex, the homeless Kiwi, mentioned.

From my blog: "Disclaimer: Although these last couple of nights have been cold as hell, doing this project in the summer/fall is a completely different experience in comparison to the long winter. Or so I'm told. Not to mention the fact that Colorado is notorious for its plethora of programs and just overall awesome treatment towards the homeless. If I did this project in Detroit or New York I'd probably be dead by now. Colorado's so called "ghettos" ain't got shit on the rest of the country."

ninjaruler1 karma

It's interesting to see this documentary. On one hand it's great to see how people in the same situation will generally be willing to help a new guy out. However on the other hand, it kind of makes you wonder if some of these homeless people will actually try to improve their situation. Not saying that giving free food and all that shouldn't be allowed, but some homeless should at least strive towards a better future instead of using the whole system for extended periods of time which could prevent new homeless people from getting back on their feet. There's always a limit to how many people a shelter can help so at least give those who have suddenly fallen on hard times a chance too.

capnjasbo1 karma

Yeah, that's why I support UA-ing for benefits. That way those who truly need the assistance can be rationed more of it.

So, while interviewing social workers they said that it's cheaper for the state to just throw them all into a warehouse. Apparently, (I haven't looked this up so don't quote me), they save money in the prevented crime and injuries. A microeconomics professor brought up a good point to me. He said something to the effect of, "There's always gonna' be a section of the population with drug problems, maybe it isn't our position to tell them what to do with their lives, but rather we should look at what's best for all members of society. It's more cost effective for us to let them do drugs safely than it is to try and force change on the unwilling."

Not sure where I stand on that one. That's why in my blog I say it's up to you if you decide to give to panhandlers or not. I just want people to know that it's most likely feeding a habit.

JT_CFC1 karma

op, you still using drugs?

capnjasbo2 karma

Nope. But I don't mean to mislead, I only was smoking weed and drinking. Both are drugs but hardly the severe stuff. I just have a history of alcoholism (like most homeless) and fell into that quick. I address that in this AMA elsewhere if you CTRL+F search "meth".

jacksaces1 karma

Throwing some dirt on yourself wouldn't make anyone just "look" homeless.

capnjasbo2 karma

If you stay in shelters it's actually hard to stay dirty. If you sleep on the top floor of the Denver Rescue Mission they force you to shower. If you want a blanket and a pillow you have to come out of the shower. I found it's the big hobo pack that makes you look homeless more than anything. It's the home bums that have those beaver mullet dread things and stained skin. You'd be surprised how many homeless people are dressed flashy from thrift clothes.

capnjasbo1 karma

UPDATE I re-uploaded the video without the "ridiculous voice-over" for the definitions.

Also, I sifted through the hateful comments and made a collection of all the questions and of the most relevant discussions. They are highlighted as well to make it easy to skim.

All questions:

Best comments:

MiniByte1 karma


capnjasbo1 karma

The video is the first thing you see on the blog page.

ButtDouglass1 karma

I know you're getting a lot of smack for the video, but I'm 15 minutes in and am enjoying it a lot!

If this is your first documentary, keep on keepin on; take some of the criticism people are throwing out there and learn from it. Props!

capnjasbo2 karma

Will do! Yeah, I agree with most of the "smack" I'm getting & hope to learn from it. I'm still proud of what I produced, (despite all my self-deprecating comments), and will continue to make whatever I feel like. It's worth it for the folks like you so thanks!

PeanutButterJellyYou1 karma

Good video, pretty real. The reality kinda irks me though. It's like, "look at all this you can get for free if you just give up". Homeless people are certainly an economic issue or more accurately a burden. Yea, drugs keep you down and society isn't going to want you when you're homeless but all the aid acts as an enabler. Feeling sorry for the homeless proves to be a waste of time more often then not. Talk about an endless money pit. Sounds harsh but I think my comments are as real as the video. I have sympathy as a human being but as a citizen I just don't give a shit about them. However, I guess the real problem is that humans can't be trusted with their reproductive organs.

capnjasbo2 karma

I think the biggest problems are the incentives within "the system."

You have some extreme statements so I bet your head would explode if you were in the line of a homeless shelter hearing people say, "If you start working you're not gonna' get those food stamps anymore."

Or advice between people on disability saying, "I just work as much as I can until I'm about to reach the monthly limit. Then I just call in until the next month."

Or a guy in the shelter asking me about where to find work. After I reply with a long list of programs he replies with, "Well, it has to be under the table or I won't get disability anymore."

I'm not trying to justify this behavior but I don't blame them. We all take advantage of loop holes (like torrenting media) if easily accessible. I'm not sure on the logistics but we need a system that gives you more benefits the harder you work. Or at least drug tests people getting government assistance...

philmtl0 karma

i wish you had tried this in a place like canada, in the winter. trying to stay alive in a place where, everything you dumpster dive is probably frozzen, and being a bum in most public places is illliagal such as you cant go warm up in a metro. also try sleeping in a place where your toes will freeze off during the night.

capnjasbo1 karma

Actually, my first time being homeless was in Canada. Vancouver. To be fair, it was in the summer, but there was a youth shelter I stayed at that really helped me out. Also, Alex, the kiwi, was homeless in Vancouver, B.C. But yeah, no matter what I do it'll never be the same as actually being homeless. That's why I made sure to interview a bunch of people who were actually homeless.

From my blog: "Disclaimer: Although these last couple of nights have been cold as hell, doing this project in the summer/fall is a completely different experience in comparison to the long winter. Or so I'm told. Not to mention the fact that Colorado is notorious for its plethora of programs and just overall awesome treatment towards the homeless. If I did this project in Detroit or New York I'd probably be dead by now. Colorado's so called 'ghettos' ain't got shit on the rest of the country. "

ActII0 karma

i wish i could punch you in the face.

capnjasbo1 karma


le9gagamry-14 karma

Which do you prefer 9gag or reddit?

capnjasbo2 karma

1st time using reddit & only stumble upon 9gag as an image hosting site. But based on your username Weird Al can answer your question best, "Spam any place that you are (ham and pork)."