Homeless people read mean tweets and are brought to tears - video

The video was made by Canadian homeless charity Raising the Roof

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The ingenious “celebrities read mean tweets” section of Jimmy Kimmel's popular American chat show often draws in millions of viewers and an equal number of laughs.

Now a homeless charity has now used the idea to highlight the plight of Canada’s homeless.

In the video released by Canadian homeless charity Raising the Roof, dozens of current and former homeless people are filmed reading spiteful comments directed towards the homeless community on social media site Twitter. The insults include one Twitter user asking why homeless people always “smell of urine”, while another one “wonders” if “homeless people go to heaven”.

In a particularly emotional clip, Cheryl, a homeless woman of seven years, break down when she reads the tweet: “If home is where the heart is, are homeless people heartless?”

Sheryl (above) has been homeless for seven years

Carolann Barr, executive director of Raising the Roof, said: “Only when this happens will people stop saying nasty things, stop assuming the stereotypes are true.”

“Then we can work together to prevent and end homelessness.”

She added: “Homelessness isn't just the people you see on the street; in fact they represent a small percentage of the 235,000 homeless across Canada.”

The video, which was released last month, has been viewed more than 235,000 on YouTube, with users describing the tweets as “sickening” and “truly sad”.