This past week I was honored to join a group of amazing people in San Francisco thanks to Kred. On the first day we visited Path and spent some time with Twitter executives. But to me, the highlight of the day was meeting California's Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom at Current TV.
A few year's back Natalie Komuro told me that I needed to visit Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco to see a homeless connect day done right. At the time, I had participated in a few Connect Days, yet I found them to be a big "dog and pony show" with little help to our homeless friends. At best, the homeless connect days I participated in mainly helped service providers communicate because everyone was in one place. Natalie explained that Project Homeless Connect in San Francisco is not a yearly event but is held every few months, and that there are housing options available. She went on to say that the Mayor of San Francisco who started Project Homeless Connect, Gavin Newsom, would wash the feet of our homeless friends during the event.
San Francisco is an interesting community. On one side it's very progressive in social services and on the other San Francisco does some really dumb things that almost contradicts the good that the city does. Now add politics and you'll get lots of varying opinions. I've heard all kinds of stories about Gavin Newsom, but to me, any mayor that leads a community by washing the feet of our homeless friends is a hero. I have traveled all over North America for the homeless cause and I can tell you two things: 1) fighting homelessness does not get votes 2) the communities that are really having impact fighting homelessness are the ones where the mayor is taking an active role. It's almost political suicide for any politician to fight homelessness, which is very sad since fighting homelessness saves lives and taxpayer dollars.
I am grateful that Current TV and Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom allowed me this interview and one question. This was not the forum to get into any political debate. Plus, I don't even like talking politics. Maybe on another occasion we can go deeper into talking about homelessness. But for this short interview I decided to simply thank a man for washing our homeless friend's feet.
"The issue of poverty and the issue of homelessness will never be solved with one person. There is not a person on a white horse that is going to come in and save the day. At the end of the day it has to be an army of Davids. The rest of us have to step up and step in" ~ Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom
Invisible People goes beyond the rhetoric, statistics, political debates, and limitations of social services to examine poverty in America via a medium that audiences of all ages can understand, and can’t ignore. The vlog puts into context one of our nation’s most troubling and prevalent issues through personal stories captured by the lens of Mark Horvath – its founder – and brings into focus the pain, hardship and hopelessness that millions face each day. One story at a time, videos posted on InvisiblePeople.tv shatter the stereotypes of America’s homeless, force shifts in perception and deliver a call to action that is being answered by national brands, nonprofit organizations and everyday citizens now committed to opening their eyes and their hearts to those too often forgotten.
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the way we think about people experiencing homelessness.