Social experiment videos are usually meant to convey messages. In some instances, casual passers-by become unwitting participants in studies on human nature.
They often make you question yourself or whether some people have a conscience. Are you kind? Are you oblivious? Are you indifferent? Are you aware? Are you loving? Some of these videos stick with you, slowly changing how you behave regardless of who may be watching.
RobbyTV arranged for a little girl named Laila to pose as a homeless child on a busy city street. The purpose? To find out what people would do if – keyword “if” – they saw a homeless girl holding a sign asking for food.
With a sign perched on her lap reading “HOMELESS AND HUNGRY, PLEASE HELP”, Laila sits alone on the sidewalk. Dozens of people walk by. Some look in her direction, but most don’t. Here and there, people drop money into her cup, and one woman even stops to ask her if she is okay.
But after trying to make small talk and giving Laila some change, she keeps it moving. It’s obvious that it’s cold outside and this little girl doesn’t have a place to go, so it makes you wonder. She’s vulnerable not only to the elements and starvation, but to devious predators who could easily victimize the lonesome girl. Cringing yet?
According to a report published by the Coalition for the Homeless, 11% of unaccompanied homeless youth are under the age of 18. That means they are without a parent or guardian and have to fend for themselves for food and shelter. Some stay in shelters, some on the street or subway, and others couch-surf.
Laila’s day seemed to be drawing to a dreary end until another woman stopped. Dressed in a flannel shirt, pink gloves, and tattered shoes, we first see her slow down to read Laila’s sign, but she keeps walking. A while later, the woman returns carrying food and sparks up a conversation.
She crouches down beside Laila and kindly offers money, food, and help, while asking the girl about her situation. Out of all the people who walked by, she’s the only one who took the time to sit and bring food. After she drops a $20 bill into the cup, the video’s producer approaches. It’s then that we find out what made her stop for Laila.
Watch the video to find out the conclusion to RobbyTV’s experiment and to learn about this woman’s own circumstances. You may be surprised and a little choked up too! Be sure to watch until the very end.
It still begs the question: what would you do if you saw a homeless child on the street? Homeless people often feel invisible. In busy cities, it’s easy to ignore those who are sleeping on the sidewalk or panhandling. It may or may not be easy to stop for them, and sadly by the looks of this experiment, it doesn’t make a difference if it’s a little kid.
Are you affected by what you saw in this video? How would you have reacted to this little girl? Have you seen circumstances like this where you live?