Mark Horvath, creator of the project Invisible People, was once homeless himself. Today, he travels around the country, using a small video camera to perform short, honest interviews with homeless people to let them tell their story in their own words. He describes the process as “making friends.”
With the help of The Kindling Group and See3, Horvath will be releasing a documentary about the project, focusing on bringing the importance of finding and funding long-term strategies to reduce homelessness to the public. The road trip, which launched in June in San Jose, just wrapped up on September 14th, but Mark will be making more visits in the U.S., with a stop at the BlogWorldExpo in Los Angeles in early November.
“I am thrilled to be making this trip, because I believe it’s so important to make the invisible members of our society visible. I also believe that social media, with its instant reach and impact, is the perfect vehicle for promoting InvisiblePeople.tv and sharing the stories of people experiencing homelessness,” says Horvath. “The last two years I have taken similar road trips across America and the journey was amazing, affecting real change at the national and community level. I hope that people will follow me on this international trip and help us continue to make a difference in the lives of real people.”
Mark’s story is also a moving one, and the background for InvisibleTV from a recent press release follows:
InvisiblePeople.tv is a grassroots 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2008 by advocate Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal on Twitter). The organization is primarily self-funded, along with a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Challenge in 2010. After building a successful career in television syndication, Mark found himself homeless in 1995 following a battle with addiction. He worked hard to clean up his act, and was again living comfortably by 2007 with a three-bedroom house and a 780 credit score. But then the recession hit. After several layoffs and a foreclosure, he was once again facing homelessness. That’s when Mark launched InvisiblePeople.tv with just $45 and a budding interest in online social media. In November 2009, he was named “one of the top activists to follow on Twitter” by the Huffington Post. Because of his work with InvisiblePeople.tv, Horvath has been featured by the L.A. Times, CNN, CBS, CBC, Mashable.com, PBS and NPR. He’s spoken at a number of conferences and events, including Geneva Forum on Social Change, Blog World, U.S Department of State’s Tech@State, Gnomedex, 140 Character Conference, Nonprofit Technology Conference and SxSW.
To learn more and follow Mark along during his journey, visit http://www.InvisiblePeople.tv or on Twitter at http://invisiblepeople.tv/twitter, http://invisiblepeople.tv/facebook, http://invisiblepeople.tv/flickr and http://invisiblepeople.tv/youtube.
What do you think about Mark’s story and his Road Trip?
How do you think social media can help tell the story of homelessness in America, and around the world? Post your comments here.