Transcript for Becoming Invisible and Homeless
And a photograph we were all passing around today. Look at it. It's not what it seems. This week a woman in kindness offers food to someone who appears to be homeless but he is actor Richard gear in character shooting a film. Well the groups who help the homeless say this picture is a way to open everyone's eyes to how invisible the homeless become. One group filmed an experiment. People walking by the homeless not knowing they were secretly members of their own family, relatives they love. Here's ABC now with that video that has a lot of people talking tonight. Reporter: This woman was filmed walking past a homeless person. Something that happens thousands of times a day in America. But she did not realize the woman on the sidewalk was her own sister. This woman didn't realize it was her own uncle there. This man, no idea the person he's going past is his wife. It was all a setup to shine a spotlight on the homeless in a way we would never forget. This is how it worked. An ads had been placed announcing a film being made about New York with the director looking are if real people with real opinions on the place they call home. The idea was hatched by these guys. They secretly contacted the relatives of those who answered the ad and arranged for them to be out here when they walked by. So Veronica passed by her sister and shaunya walked bid her Tom and Tom married for over 34 years went past his wife, Mary Ann and each was shown the tape and their responses -- well, wordless or almost. These things are a lot more real than you expect. Reporter: It's not the film's purpose to single these people out. It's to point out we have become so used to seeing the homeless that we don't see them. The number of homeless in America has soared past 600,000 people on some days 100,000 are chronically homeless. Every person is somebody's mother, somebody's cousin, somebody's daughter. Reporter: The film ends each passersby gets another chance to do what they did not do the first time, to see and connect. John donvan, ABC news, Washington.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.