I first met Rule in Washington DC a few months back [ He was invited by a homeless youth organization to speak to legislators. Rule is actually homeless in Venice, California. After the first interview, we stayed in touch. Since I was visiting Los Angeles, I asked him for an update.
Rule has been homeless since the age of 13. He is now 22. Rule has slept outside, in abandoned buildings, on couches, on trains, on buses, and hotel rooms. He says he has experienced every type of homelessness.
Rule starts off by sharing he is looking for an apartment. Like many people facing the crisis of homelessness, Rule likes to dream big and to focus on the possibilities. There are a few organizations that may be able to help subsidize the cost of a place to stay, but the lack of affordable housing and the unwillingness of landlords to work with nonprofits and homeless people continue to be a roadblock to housing.
Many people commented on Rule’s first interview that he just needs to get a job. Please listen to Rule’s response when I asked him about this.
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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.