Photo by David McNew/Newsmakers/Getty Images

Nearly 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness each year. About 41 percent are families with children and 23 percent are veterans.

But, as we are halfway through National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week, there’s a glimmer of hope. USA Today reports the number of people who are continuously homeless has dropped about 17 percent since 2005. The story cites the 2009-2010 stimulus program and more available public housing as the main reasons, because it provided greater access to resources that keep the homeless off the streets.

Behind these facts and figures though, are non-profit organizations and giving individuals who are inspiring people to pay it forward. Watch. And be inspired.

The people behind Give Back Films found homeless families around Atlanta, Georgia and asked them to talk about where they are from and how they ended up on the streets. At the end of the video, the interviewers surprised them with $200.

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ABC’s hidden camera show “What Would You Do?” tests customers at a bar in a small New York town. An actor plays a homeless man who cannot get service and orders something to eat from the bartender, also an actor, while some people step up to the plate and defend him.

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A CBS Atlanta station found a Booker T. Washington high school student who managed to graduate school with many achievements despite losing his home and everything he had.

Two friends behind the YouTube channel TrueStoryASA start this video by saying they usually make funny skits. But to promote a line of t-shirts they are selling, they decided to gift homeless people the shirt, food, and water, just to see them smile. “Make the world smile” are the words written on the shirt.

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Ted Williams admitted that alcohol and drugs contributed to him ending up homeless, but he never lost his “golden voice.” After a reporter in Columbus, Ohio had Williams show off his voice in the news, his story caught fire. Today, he is working as a sports announcer for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

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The homeless man in this video did not at first believe the comedian, Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, wanted to give him a makeover. But he accepted the offer and was especially happy with his dinner.