“More than anyone else in the country, Horvath’s interviews give the homeless a face and a voice” ~ NBC News
Invisible People featured on Dateline NBC:
Ricki Lake Show Talking with Mark Horvath about Homelessness and Social Media
Ten years! Ten years of Invisible People is hard for me to imagine, but yesterday we marked the milestone of our tenth year uploading videos to YouTube providing a platform and a voice for homeless people to share their own stories.
I was really hoping to make a big splash for our tenth year anniversary, but life changes quickly. If you don’t know, I help take care of my mother, and she had a heart attack a few weeks back. She’s OK now recovering in a nursing home but taking care of and her dog became the priority.
Invisible People also hit 200,000 subscribers on YouTube and the milestone of 39 million views. If you spread that out over ten years, it’s not so impressive, but 150,000 subs and 25 million views happened in the last year. Going forward that means Invisible People’s minimum yearly benchmark on YouTube is 100,000 subs and 25 million views! That’s huge!
In this video, I share a few stories of the early years. I had this idea to interview homeless people, but I almost didn’t do it. The whole project was a risk. Social media at the time was brand new. Homeless services providers and politicians were pressuring me to stop. I was unemployed without income facing my own homelessness a second time. Empathizing with homeless people was crushing. There were times I could not even look at the footage I was so emotionally wrecked. It made little sense to continue, but I did.
I have data that shows Invisible People has generated 4 billion impressions on social media over the last five years. That number doesn’t include the reach of Dateline, Ricki Lake Show, LA Times, CBS, MTV, PBS, CNN (three times) and all the other media we have received over the years.
If we do not have public support, we will never end homelessness. In Los Angeles, Proposition HHH and Measure H have shown that we can have all of the money in the world, but the battle continues to be public support. That battle continues in cities all over the country.
Invisible People reaches more people outside of the social services sector educating them on homelessness than all other homeless services combined. Miracle after miracle has happened over the last ten years. Tens of thousands of homeless people have been helped directly and indirectly because of this work, and because of your support!
I honestly believe that even after ten years we are at the beginning of something much bigger, and it’s all made possible because of you. Without you, none of this would have ever happened!
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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.