Mission: To leverage the power of video and social media to share the compelling, gritty, unfiltered stories of homeless people and “make the invisible visible.”
Background: In 2008, Mark Horvath, a former television producer who experienced homelessness first hand, launched an innovative storytelling organization with just a camera and a $45 startup budget. Today, that organization, Invisible People, works with individuals, brands, and organizations to change the way people think about homelessness. The site's ultimate goal is to get beyond the statistics, rhetoric, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages can relate to. One story at a time, the videos posted on Invisible People aim to shatter stereotypes and force a shift in ordinary Americans’ perception of the homeless and homelessness in America.
Outstanding Web Features: The Invisible People site uses a “vlog” format to expose visitors to the reality of homelessness. Each week, a different homeless individual is featured on InvisiblePeople.tv, and then that vignette is cross posted to YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. The site also features an informative blog that addresses issues related to the problem of homelessness, including support for Prop HHH (Homelessness Reduction and Prevention, Housing and Facilities Bond) in California, homelessness as a product of racism, and life-saving healthcare programs for the homeless in Boston. Visitors are encouraged to watch the stories showcased on the site and comment, share those stories with others via email, Google+, and photo-sharing sites flickr and Instagram, and/or sign up for e-updates.