Rex Hohlbein can't tell you why he stopped to offer tea to the homeless man sleeping outside his architecture office one day, but he did, and that split-second decision to follow his intuition, changed his life. In a span of 5 years, Hohlbein has given up his architecture career to advocate for the homeless by changing public perception of who they are. He asks you to see the person, rather than the issue of homelessness. Watch how Hohlbein uses the power of social media to build a community of connection, compassion, and friendship.


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  • Vinisha

    Our small compassionate actions leads to greater changes.

  • Carol

    One human being helping another. Simple and open, I love that. Using technology to help, that's a good thing. Just listened to a piece on HandUp that is going on in San Francisco, other individuals helping others. We all matter. Good work people, let's keep it up!

  • Barb

    Rex's openness to simply be with a man who was homeless and to learn from him and later to be with more persons who are homeless and achieve greater understanding and respect.

  • Mary Gibbons

    What struck me most was his "Just Say Hellow". Who of us cannot afford to do this one simple thing? Say hellow to one person everyday on your way to work for a week and you will find that person smiling before you say hello. You just made a difference in someones life.

  • Wendy Wright

    The see somebody really caring and looking deeper into the person. I always Wonder when I see so many of the people that are homeless in my town, which is a lot because the State Mental Health Center here since the late eighteen hundreds and budgets cut leave people sleeping down by the railroad tracks always have a few dollars out for them and try to drop off bags of clothing and things that I find with my husband painting two places I know we'll make sure that they get them or to them directly

  • linda

    Empathy that becomes compassion! Oh, for a lot more people who "judge not!"

  • Jennifer

    Rex is out there doing it. He is the change, the connection, the embodiment of being a resource in his community and a beacon of love and hope!

  • jeani

    What touched me the most is Rex's sincerity. And yes, each person has a story, as do we all. It takes nothing to offer a smile or a few words. There is nothing worse than to be "invisible"and surely we all have enough humanity to reach out, even in a small way,. to another.

  • Kelly

    Zeke - that's an awfully harsh comment to make, given the many, many reasons people end up losing everything. Of course there are 'losers'on the streets, but there are 'losers'in high paying positions too. I have almost been there myself, due to a bad combination of an abusive spouse & a health issue that took me off work. And I may be wrong, but I'm not 'a bum'. If you weren't inspired by this guy's story, fine, its a free world. But don't come on here spewing hate when clearly this person is doing something that is on his heart. Bottom line - there is np black or white and as long as people are trying to do good things for others, I say all the power to them!

  • Linda B

    The common thread of mental illness either from a genetic source or trauma. Those that suffer to a point of hopeless, homelessness are so very misunderstood. This man's endeavor to use his brilliant mind to help those who society walks past is a miracle.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    As someone who often stops to engage in conversation with homeless, share a hug and share a meal, I resonated so much with this. Indeed, see the human being in front of you, who chances are is not so different from you either. Hugs from my heart to yours. May we all see with more compassion.

  • Zillah Glory

    That it enriches the man who took the chance. "Crazy physics. It's something very beautiful... yeah." Awesome.

  • Zeke

    I lived on the street. Most of the homeless are bums. They carry knives. They steal. Now a rich guy wants to salve his conscience by "helping" hobos? No, we won't all end up on the streets, cos most normal folks want to work, don't drink all day, and have self respect. A bum is a bum is a bum. That is reality.

  • Asutosh

    Very inspiring!!! Loved the statement that "you quickly realize that you are the one who is enriched by the moment". Thank you for sharing the video.

  • dawn

    The Heart connection creates so much Love as we are all One !! what a blessing to share our inner and outer beauty in this humble way,My heart to yours,

  • Barb

    What great story for everyone to read!! Who is that person behind that face you see sleep on the park bench or under that underpass? When was the last time they experienced some kind of compassion from another person? That could be you!

  • Maria

    The moment we are born we sense the world around us. What happens from then on carries on through out our lives. Understanding this we can make a big difference in the world by helping people by being , kind , understanding, empathizing and non-judgemental. We need to learn acceptance and offer gifts that we have to help guide others to a better world through listening and truly hearing. Everyone of us has a gift that we can contribute to others in this world. That is truly love.

  • martaKJ

    We are all humans So LET's ACT AS HUMANs}}} I will be even more sensitive for their needs coz homelessness, addictions are just the symptoms of their early developmental life experiences. They are silent living distorted beautiful souls. Those who don't want to be seen and interupted are the most in need. Let us share our warmth and love with them . I will}}}

  • Lilith Rogers

    This film really shows me how much compassion can make a difference. Bless you all. Lilith

  • John

    Everything, wow what a story, it just shows how things can move forward in such a positive way, you are an insperation! We are all equal and we are all people, we need to remember that

  • Joey Yon

    Anyone, regardless of their past, can become homeless with only one tragedy or trauma in life.

  • Pat

    It is never too late to open your heart/mind to a stranger. Sometimes a simple smile and a good morning can change their whole day. But for the grace of God, we could be in their situation.

  • Sam

    Oh please. This man speaks from a place of priviledge.Try living on the streets. Wait till you're attacked by one of the MANY predators that are disguised as "homeless."

  • Brian

    Thanks Team. We can sense the joy from his purpose.Great example. Humanity indeed needs more humanity. Peace on Earth.

  • Deepak

    Thank you . The Power of creation which we all can do as it comes from within .

  • Tina Larsen

    They are us. Thank you so much Rex. I live in Laguna Beach CA where homelessness is prevalent. I'd love to help you and help these folks. Much love

  • Shyam

    Wonderful take. Normally we listen to sufferings , feel compassion, but believing the problems to be unsurmountable do nothing about them. Great initiative. Gives you a sense of belief that one must start to help in whatever small way one can and build up from there.

  • Nancy

    I'm homeless, a good person Not on drugs or drinking. I have pets and can't find a home I can afford.

  • bob banner

    that this business about giving is receiving.. that he thought it was weird physics that he was getting enriched by giving to this particular need. This is HUGE.. If we really got that on a visceral level we would stop overconsuming tomorrow and KNOW that by our giving is coming back at us. I know it sounds crazy but if you keep hearing stories like this something shifts.. One day I noticed my mind focussing on what about me, what about me.. the same tityle of the one giant leap music group. In any event I told myself I need to shift out of this compulsion of always concerned about myself and decided to actually look for a particular need and to do something. I woman had just finished taking her groceries out of a cart and was going to wheel it back to the collection of carts. I saw it and asked her if I could and she was sooo pleased that I was high the rest of the day and then started a fb page calling it ROVING CIRCLES OF KINDNESS ( but it never went anywhere...

  • Betsi

    A situation can change a life. The act of trying to understand the person can transform your life. I am in awe of the selflessness exhibited in this video.............I will pass it on in my life.

  • Lisa

    It is ALWAYS the right moment to change your path if you find out that it would be good to do so. And please - spell his name correctly: it is Hohlbein, not Holhbein. Big difference , even if it doesn't seem so.

  • Renee

    That one person CAN make a difference to those in need - physically, mentally and spiritually!

  • Judith

    He shined light on a dark path. . .thank you.

  • Tejas

    Incredible and very inspiring.

  • Wanda

    It's "random acts of kindness" on steroids!! AWESOME

  • Cindy

    What a wonderful human being is Rex Hohlbein! It takes more than compassion to reach out, open up, and even change careers as he did in order to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves. He's a saint of course... In the most traditional sense. May he continue to be blessed by the work, and may those whom he helps be lifted up.

  • Gary

    What inspired you about this video? Thank you for what you do, this is inspiring.

  • Lisa Tate

    Wonderful Video! Thank You!

  • Joanne Conger

    This man is a constant inspiration to me and to many of the homelessness advocates in Seattle. A compassionate man who shows the world how to be kind.

  • Page 1

  • Meet some of the beautiful people that make up the Facing Homelessness community.
  • Watch Rex Holhbein's TEDx talk to learn more about how we can each take small and meaningful steps to respond to the inequality in our midst.
  • Say "hello" to the next homeless person you come across in your day.

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