Arthur is a Vietnam era veteran who lives in the woods near Ithaca, New York. A relationship gone bad and the high cost of housing left him no choice but to make a home outside.
Something as simple as making a cup of coffee in the morning takes Arthur 45 minutes. Think about that for a moment. Would you wait in line at Starbucks even 15 minutes for a Caramel Macchiato? It really hit me when I was helping Arthur work his cart down the trail. While Arthur pushed I had to lift up the front so the wheels wouldn’t dig into where the trail was soft. It was challenging to say the least, and I could not stop thinking that he makes this journey several times a day every single day!
President Obama has mandated that we will end veteran homelessness by the end of this year. That’s a very good thing. Many communities are claiming that they have ended veteran homelessness. I really want to believe them, but the real truth is there are many still experiencing homelessness and soldiers from Middle East hitting the streets every day. There has been noticeable progress, but stories like Arthur’s only prove we will need to do more!
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Since its launch in November 2008, Invisible People has leveraged the power of video and the massive reach of social media to share the compelling, gritty, and unfiltered stories of homeless people from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. The vlog (video blog) gets up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims and others who have been forced onto the streets by a variety of circumstances. Each week, they’re on InvisiblePeople.tv, and high traffic sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, proving to a global audience that while they may often be ignored, they are far from invisible.
Invisible People goes beyond the rhetoric, statistics, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages can understand, and can’t ignore. The vlog puts into context one of our nation’s most troubling and prevalent issues through personal stories captured by the lens of Mark Horvath – its founder – and brings into focus the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions face each day. One story at a time, videos posted on InvisiblePeople.tv shatter the stereotypes of America’s homeless, force shifts in perception and deliver a call to action that is being answered by national brands, nonprofit organizations and everyday citizens now committed to opening their eyes and their hearts to those too often forgotten.
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.