Founder Dez Martinez’s Story
…and why We Are Not Invisible was founded.
Hello, I am Dez. On July 11, 2016, I moved into a permanent place I could finally call home. Prior to that I was homeless. I went from my car to a shelter back to my car and was also allowed to stay at friends from time to time. This went on for a year and half. I was not on alcohol or drugs.
My homelessness was due to domestic violence, as I was becoming so depressed that I could not function on a day to day basis. I needed help, but I was denied, which led to severe depression.
I was on a fixed income and behind on my bills, depressed with nowhere to go, so I went for help at Marjory Mason Center. I was denied services because they said “I was not homeless because I had my car to sleep in.” I slept in my car and on couches until a caseworker called and said “I got you a bed.” After waiting three months, my stay was only 30 days. I was back on the street. Homeless and on a limited income, there was no way for me to save to get my own place. I was offered a garage that was being converted into a studio, where I lived for awhile. Then, I found a room for rent and finally moved into my own home.
While going through all that, I created Homeless in Fresno on April 10, 2015 to show others what is really going on in the streets of Fresno regarding homelessness and the lack of resources. This effort opened the door for me to learn more about needs that are being unmet among the homeless and led me to create six outreach projects that take place throughout the year.
It’s not always about the food. It’s about communication and rehumanizing our chronically homeless and helping our less fortunate.
Please take a moment and view our short documentary on We are not Invisible.
We are Not Invisible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.