Fight Homelessness with Invisible People This Giving Season

(suspenseful music) – Each year, as many as
3.5 million Americans sleep in shelters, transitional
housing, and public places not meant for human habitation. As the result of the
affordable housing crisis, the number of people
experiencing homelessness in both rural and urban communities is increasing at an alarming rate. Rents have gone up 75%
in the last five years while wages have remained stagnant. Cities like Phoenix are hit the hardest. We all know about Los Angeles, but communities all over
America are suffering from the affordable housing crisis. The homeless sector is housing more people than ever before, but
more people are entering into homelessness for the first time than service providers can help. Reports estimate that 7.4 million people have lost their homes and
are living with family or friends due to economic necessity. Of these invisible people, 1.3 million are children under the
age of six years old. As our homeless crisis grows
to epidemic proportions, so does community resistance to solutions that will save lives
and save taxpayer money. Opposition against the creation of new supportive housing units is often fueled by negative perceptions of homelessness and homeless people. These negative perceptions have
been reinforced for decades. Town halls turn into shouting matches, legal battles are funded by communities to stop progress to ending homelessness, community boards like Nextdoor are filled with nasty comments from angry neighbors. Anti social media accounts are
growing at an alarming rate. The use of hostile
architecture is increasing, so is violence against homeless people. A recent report found that
NIMBYism, not in my back yard, is one of the two most
significant barriers to building more affordable housing. The public’s inability
to relate to homelessness is our biggest obstacle to ending it. Hi, I’m Mark Horvath, I’m the
founder of Invisible People. We are the only national
education based non-profit working to end homelessness in North America. Through innovating
storytelling, education, news, and advocacy, we are changing
the narrative on homelessness. In fact, we do it better than anyone. (inspiring music) Housing programs have been created, feeding programs have been
created, but more importantly, millions upon millions of people have been educated on homelessness. This year, we launched a
brand new Invisible People. We still have the innovative
first person interviews from the experts, homeless
people themselves, but we also launched a online portal for young adults to
learn about homelessness. We now post original news
content on homelessness five to seven days a week, and get this. We have about 20 writers and
25% of them, five or six, are homeless, and about five
or six are formerly homeless. 50% of our writers have lived
expertise on homelessness. They are the experts. We also launched an online
platform for you to write, email, tweet, or call your legislators to demand that they do something about
the affordable housing crisis and work to end homelessness. As homelessness grows, the
opposition to real solutions that will help people is also growing. Our work is becoming
more and more important. Thanks to supporters
like you, we’ve been able to scale this last year, we reached a billion people on
social media last year. Our minimum yearly benchmark on YouTube is now 30 million views. We have 325,000 subscribers on YouTube. That’s unheard of for non-profits, much less a non-profit in
the homeless services sector. And it’s all made possible because of you, because you believed in me,
you believed in this work, and you believed in Invisible People. Today is Giving Tuesday,
and we’re launching our season of giving campaign. I’ve participated in some
amazing Giving Tuesdays, but this one is most definitely historic. An organization that
believes in the importance of this work and believes
in Invisible People is making a generous seed donation to start our giving season
campaign of $50,000. (bright music) I’m blown away, grateful. This is definitely the
best Giving Tuesday. If you’d like to be part of this year’s giving season campaign, there’s a link down below. YouTube doesn’t take any fees, so it’s 100% passed through
onto Invisible People. Your generous donation will help us expand educational content
in the schools and colleges, help us expand our journalism
to reach more people, to hire more writers, to
hire more homeless writers. We’ll be able to empower
more homeless people to share their own story,
to educate the public on homelessness, to
influence policy change and help end homelessness. Thank you. I think the world of you, I always have. – Well, that’s important, damn it. Who would if you didn’t? (Mark laughs) Thank God for you. – [Mark] All right, I love you, Catherine, you’ve been always a good friend. – And so have you,
you’ve been the only one that has been honest and
upright with me since day one. – [Mark] Well, thank you
very much for talking. – And I hope that anybody who’s
thinking about contributing to your funding to help you, to help us, will see this and decide there
is no chance they won’t help. – [Mark] That was an unsolicited
request, but thank you. – You’re more than welcome,
if I had the money, I’d be helping you. – [Mark] Yeah. Thank you very much. – Thank you, Mark, good luck. (calm music)


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