However US filmmaker Mark Horvath is harnessing the power of social media to empower homeless people to tell their stories and remind the world of a forgotten people.
Since 2008, Invisible People has traveled to over 100 cities in 6 countries, interviewing homeless people and families. The videos are raw and unedited and the Invisible People website carries the disclaimer, ‘Caution, some content may be offensive. Our hope is you’ll get mad enough to do something.’
They are young, old, couples and even families. No two stories are alike and they challenge perceptions about how and why people end up on the street.
In each video, Horvath asks, ‘If you had three wishes, what would they be?’ The answers are humble and a stark reminder of the things that many of us take for granted. Sharron in Oxford hopes to be reunited with her children. 20-year-old ‘Rails’ hopes to one day be able to settle down and have a family while college student Alyona simply hopes to have a roof over her head.
Far from invisibility, the project makes 6.5 million social media impressions per week. Mark is currently working with @Home on finalizing a documentary about homelessness and with PBS on developing a smartphone app. It’s hoped that this will inspire people to turn apathy into action and open eyes to homelessness.
Below are a sample of the interviews Mark has conducted with homeless people. Many more are available on the Invisible People website.