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 Wound Walk OC, a nonprofit that tends to the wounds of our unsheltered people in Orange County, California. When COVID-19 hit, Wound Walk OC had to scale up. The pandemic disrupted both nonprofit and government efforts to provide services to unsheltered residents. In response, Wound Walk OC increased their capabilities by offering handwashing stations and other measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.
We created a mini-documentary about Wound Walk OC’s work during COVID-19 to highlight an aspect of the pandemic that many viewers likely wouldn’t think about otherwise. The unique circumstances of COVID-19 actually cast the day-to-day realities of homelessness in sharp relief: without a home, people are more likely to become hurt or injured — and less able to tend to their own wounds.
The resulting video both highlights an amazing organization doing great work, an important-but-forgotten aspect of homelessness, and explains to viewers the urgency of getting involved right now — at a time when our country is facing an unprecedented housing crisis.
Our Wound Walk OC video received over 70,893 views and growing since posting in July. As a result, Wound Walk OC is now receiving more recognition creating better partnership opportunities with local and county agencies. Additionally, the video has received many touching, empathetic comments validating the impact of the video. Some examples:
“Oh I never even thought about with businesses being closed how that effects a homeless persons access to even water. I'm going to start collecting milk jugs and give my water to people or do something. We are all only a paycheck away from being homeless ourselves.”
“This is a fantastic way of helping and has now given me an idea. I always try to help the homeless near where I live whenever I'm able to, change/food/time and compassion but now I'm going to prepare mini medical bags for them. Perfect. Thankyou.”
“Well said. The homeless (as usual) have been completely ignored by governments and the media. I was very worried about how Corona was going to affect those who had no home to self-isolate in.”
YouTube itself featured our Wound Walk OC video to represent California in the United States of YouTube.