I was always enchanted by stories. We all have a story. Some have a story full of love, others a story full of happiness, and others a story of struggle. Truth is, behind every human being there is a unique path worthy of being told. Jordana’s book is exactly that: a collection of strong and moving testimonies exemplifying the importance of humanizing homelessness.
Jordana Guimarães is Fashinnovation’s co-founder, the head & heart behind The Nylon Project and the author of It Can Be You. The book encourages the world to become more compassionate and understand the reasons behind homelessness, rather than judge. In this book, she makes it possible to engage with the stories of forty-five fashion influencers from all over the world and how they’ve overcome those obstacles to be where they are today.
But before getting into a few more details of the book, let’s understand a little bit about the plight of homeless people in the US.
Humanizing Homelessness: Facing the Reality
According to the organization End Homelessness, in 2020, there were 580,466 people experiencing homelessness in America. Most were individuals (70%), and the rest were families with children. They lived in every state and territory, and they reflected the diversity of our country.
However, after the pandemic hit, the situation changed dramatically worldwide and the organization expects that this number has increased.
There are different causes that lead people to homelessness. However, what we need to keep in mind is that: it’s a temporary circumstance, not a permanent condition. It’s not because they are currently living in the streets, that this is their faith.
Humanizing Homelessness: The Story Behind the Numbers
The numbers are important because they help us to have a dimension of what reality we are facing. But behind each individual that takes part in the percentage, there’s a story.
Jordana’s book came to highlight the plurality and individuality of those behind similar situations. She gives an air of hope showing that there is a future beyond the streets and that it is enough to give these people conditions to follow their dreams.
The author’s compassion for the homeless, combined with her experience in the fashion industry, inspired her to tell these stories to decrease the stigma surrounding homelessness. Life’s circumstances have the power to uplift us or, just as easily, sink us. It Can Be You takes a transparent look into the lives of fashion influencers and homeless individuals who, when placed side by side, turn out to have many common struggles.
“With influencers in fashion having such power over billions of individuals, I thought it’d be a great thing to have them uplift the voices of those who have become invisible such as the homeless. With this book we help them be heard and seen” says Jordana Guimaraes, “after all, giving is living”.
Jason Naylor, Susan Rockefeller, and Help USA: Important Allies
On the journey of amplifying voices and humanizing homelessness, Jordana had important people by her side who made her mission possible!
The book’s cover is a masterpiece itself. Jason Naylor created this art piece that makes your eyes twinkle as soon as you look at the book. Susan Rockefeller was also one of the decisive names that helped the book come to fruition. As soon as she found out about the project, she supported Jordana’s idea. As Susan states, “the book captures the reality and fragility of people’s lives and how close one can come to homelessness when a variety of factors cascade. It is an important read for anyone looking to understand homelessness and reducing the stigma and spreading compassion. It shows that in fact, it could be you”.
Furthermore, 30% of all profits will be donated to Help USA. The organization works to ensure that everyone has a safe place to call home. They run over 50 programs and residences and have served 500000 people.