It’s hard to drive in Missoula and not see a handful of homeless people holding signs on one corner or another. Missoula is home to the homeless.

I have lived in Missoula almost my entire life and I still am not sure how to feel about the homeless. I know people who are at both ends of the spectrum. It seems that some people feel great compassion and want to help the homeless and others think they’re lazy and just want them to leave.

I have to admit that I usually don’t know what to do when I see someone holding that cardboard sign. I have given money before, but don’t always. However, I always wonder how that person got to this place in their life. What happened in their past?

A Florida-based advocacy group recently made a video that helps to shed a little light on homelessness and how people end up that way. It is sad but it also helps you see that these people are just like you and me.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of the University of Montana, animal lover and writer.