Since 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. Our videos get up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims, and others who have been forced into homelessness through a variety of reasons — proving to a global audience that while homeless people may often be ignored, they are far from invisible.
We recently launched Invisible Stories, a series of mini-documentaries that go beyond the political debates and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America through a medium that reaches and captivates audiences of all ages.
Our goal is to use our YouTube and social media presence to inspire people to take tangible actions to help their community's homeless neighbors. However, to make sure they didn't get lost in the noise, we wanted to shine the spotlight on the stories, people, and organizations that don't often receive it.
Because of our focus and distinct voice, we produce and share stories that small nonprofits can rarely afford to tell and that bigger organizations often overlook.
Our content elevates the voices of people suffering from homelessness. These stories spread awareness of the systemic issues that have led to this crisis, but they also let the people at the center tell their own stories.
Some of these stories can be painful, but others are beautiful. Especially in the time of coronavirus, housing insecurity is deeply intertwined with many systemic problems. Our channel allows us to explore the many facets of homelessness and related issues, such as the criminalization of homelessness and the looming eviction crisis.
One of our most recent stories profiled Ktown for All, a volunteer-led grassroots organization serving the homeless community of LA’s Koreatown through direct aid and political advocacy. What’s so inspiring about this organization is that its members have no professional experience in social work or outreach but are stepping up to help their homeless neighbors nonetheless.
Ktown for All is a perfect model for those who want to take action but might not know where to begin. In addition to their direct action, the organization also works to fight the criminalization of homelessness.
Partnering with this organization allowed us to give a voice to an important organization that might not otherwise be able to reach a wide audience, while also highlighting the real people affected by homelessness and giving them the chance to tell their own stories. Between their ethos and their purpose, Ktown for All was a perfect fit with our vision of making stories around homelessness visible, compelling, and relatable.
Our Ktown For All mini-documentary received over 119,167 views and growing in its first seven months. The video featured a call-to-action for viewers to contact their legislators. The entire campaign has prompted thousands of emails and calls to Congress.
The comments section features hundreds of people inspired by this video — some directly affected by homelessness themselves, others looking to make a positive impact. Some examples:
“...as a "unhoused person" myself, can only say thank you to the volunteers”
“Wow what a great group of people! More of us need to get involved!”
“Great video to tell the untold stories.. thank you for making them.”
“I live in San Jose, I am young and rent by myself, work in tech and am so lucky to be stable. Long shot, but does anyone have a desire or knowledge of a group like this to help in San Jose? I am willing to do this on the weekends. let me know!”
In fact, this video inspired the direct action group Chitown For All, which is replicating the Ktown model for Chicago’s homeless community. The impact of this video and Ktown for All's story continues to grow.