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1,000th Video + How Invisible People Started + How YOU Can Help End Homelessness



This is Invisible People’s 1,000th video uploaded to YouTube. Almost 900 of our videos are first-person interviews of homeless people sharing the realities of homelessness unfiltered and unedited.

Invisible People is a pioneer in innovative storytelling, and social media use to educate the public on homelessness, and it’s all made possible by supporters just like you.

I take this milestone very serious. It’s the end of 2019. It’s the end of this decade. Invisible People has continued to make history since our beginning in 2008. Although we have been around for eleven years, 2020, and beyond Invisible People will grow to reach more people and have more impact in helping to end homelessness.

When I started Invisible People, I could not edit video. The laptop I had didn’t have a hard drive fast enough for video editing. Being a television producer by trade, I almost didn’t do this. To me, a video has to have broll, music, and graphics. No one just uploads a video without editing it, but the raw and unedited videos uploaded to Invisible People was the magic that connected to people.

For the last week, I wrestled with the production of this video. I guess the TV producer is still strong in me. I started writing a script. I started gathering old photos. Then my friend Chis Brogan responded to a tweet with these three words, “just press record,” which is how Invisible People began, so I did just that.

I pressed record and started talking. I didn’t plan on going on for an hour, but you are all family now, and once I started talking, I kept going.

In this video, I share about the very early days of Invisible People. How I got the idea from a coffee table book in my boss’s office. How he laid me off shortly after, and then I had the time. I share about working temp jobs at the Los Angeles Winter Shelter and how that changed me. I talk about my very first trip to Sacramento’s tent cities after Oprah highlighted them on her show, and it turned into a mess. That trip then led to a tech startup bringing me up to Seattle to talk to their developers, which led to meeting Chris Pirillo, who bought me my first iPhone with the ability to record video. Chris then asked me to speak at Gnomedex, and that’s where I met Chris Brogan, Jeff Pulver, Liz Strauss, and so many of you that helped Invisible People grow to fight homelessness.

Thanks to all of you that support us on Patreon [ or via or website [ and generous donations from Craig Newmark Philanthropies and Hanesbrands Inc, this year Invisible People was able to launch a brand refresh and a new impact and engagement strategy. We now have a place for people to learn about homelessness, we post original news stories daily from both housed and homeless writers, and we launched a campaign for you to be able to contact your state and federal legislators.

In 2018, we reached over a billion people. So far this year, we reached over 1.3 billion people, up 300 million from last year. That number doesn’t include the close to 30 million yearly views on YouTube.

I also share in this video how you can help to end homelessness. 1) educate yourself and those around you 2) support local homeless services that are working to end homelessness, not just maintain it 3) advocate for more affordable housing, more support shelters, more housing, more shelters, and more support for addiction and mental health.

Your voice can help end homelessness. If we do not fix the affordable housing crisis, homelessness will continue to get worse. Click here to tweet, email, call, or Facebook your federal and state legislators to tell them ending homelessness and creating more affordable housing is a priority to you.

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About Invisible People

Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness through innovative storytelling, news, and advocacy. Since our launch in 2008, Invisible People has become a pioneer and trusted resource for inspiring action and raising awareness in support of advocacy, policy change, and thoughtful dialogue around poverty in North America and the United Kingdom.

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