The actor has been an active and vocal advocate for the Los Angeles homeless, and he explains to Mic the roots of his philanthropic ways. He first started going down to Skid Row nearly a decade ago, on his birthday no less. In 2014, he started his own event and community service project, called Skid Row Carnival of Love, with a few of his friends to organize volunteers in help L.A.'s most infamous homeless area.
He explained what sparked his involvement. "I was sort of getting used to there being homeless people everywhere," he told the site. "That's sort of a dangerous thing. The second we start to normalize [homelessness], we're part of the problem." He says to not normalize, but humanize them instead. "It's important to humanize homeless people," he said. "The second that we give up hope for humans is the second we lose them. To Baldwin, humanizing people involves "looking into their eyes, saying hi, asking them for their name, asking them for their story."
He adds, "It's 2017. Somebody should not be sleeping on the street, getting eaten alive by rats, while I'm in my nice house." I think we can all learn a lesson from this level of selflessness.
And, if you're in the mood for your heart to burst 100 more times, then watch the video below.
A little thank you from my family to yours. Thank you for all the birthday love you've sent my way today… I feel it, and I cherish it. But I have one request - for my birthday - do me a favor and call someone you haven't spoken to in a while, call your parents, your children, a friend, a cousin, a teacher...call anyone and let them know how much you love them and that you appreciate them. That's it! Love Justin