In the online “Overtime” portion for this weekend’s 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper revealed that reporting on the Nashville impact of the nationwide “100,000 Homes” campaign for the chronically homeless altered his personal approach to the issue.
“Before the story, [the man panhandling in front of my house] really annoyed me,” Cooper tells “Overtime” editor Ann Silvio (the segment was filmed between May and September of last year). “I just ignored him. I just pretended he wasn’t there. And after the story, I was like, ‘This is ridiculous. This is my issue. Me pretending not to see this person is insane and offensive.’”
Since the Nashville assignment, Cooper says he has begun regularly talking with the homeless man on his NYC street. He now knows the individual’s name and no longer pretends he doesn’t see him.
“It humanizes people,” says Cooper of talking to his block’s homeless resident. “I think anytime you stop and talk to somebody and you learn about them, you start to walk in their shoes a little bit and you start to see things through a different lens.”