in an article about YouTube series Invisible People, an illustration of a person outside in a blanket
Mission: Invisible People is giving a voice to those without homes. (Illustration by Alicia Paauwe, Oakland University)
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in an article about YouTube series Invisible People, an illustration of a person outside in a blanket

The popular YouTube series interviews people without housing and gives their story a refreshing breath of hope, love, peace and positivity.

It is often difficult to describe the experience that is humanity. While this gift of life is something we can all contemplate and smile about, we all would also agree that there are flaws in the civilization we have built. Somewhere along the line, humans made the gigantic mistake of creating things such as classism and economic inequality. While there are plenty of jokes about how awful work is, there is certainly a level of seriousness behind the humor. Why does money matter so much? Why do these measly pieces of paper determine so much about people’s happiness and well-being? How do the rich keep getting richer while the poor continue to struggle?

“They got money for wars but can’t feed the poor.” — Tupac Shakur

Nobody has all the answers and the people that have the power to change this hamartia of humanity don’t care to. People are in this game of life together while the 1% rule above all in a desperate fight for who can lie the most about how much they are going to help. While people spend most of the time arguing with each other and not confronting the real issues at hand, sometimes they show the glimpses of love that will one day unite us all. These moments are candles in the grand darkness of division, and a special YouTube channel by the name of Invisible People serves as that very beaming light that humanity needs.

Mark Horvath began his career as a documenter of the social crisis that is homelessness when he himself faced poverty. With nothing but a camera, he has shined a light on the devastation that torments so many undeserving people around the globe. The mission of Invisible People is to articulate what homelessness truly is, how to make a change, what changes need to be made and how these people are no different from your mother, father, brother or sister.

Horvath travels the world and documents people who have been deeply affected by poverty by giving them short interviews that he posts on his extremely popular YouTube channel. He doesn’t make a charity case out of them; he treats them like human beings, and it is sad that it will bring a tear to your eye to just watch somebody being kind. The beautiful people tell their story and how they got to the position they are in, as well as what they hope to do next to get out of it.

Invisible People has gained close to a million subscribers since the channel’s first video 12 years ago. Since then, hundreds of stories have been shared by special people from all walks of life. This illumination that Horvath has projected on such a disrespected facet of society has changed so many people’s lives. Whether it be teaching the average person how horribly unfair homelessness is or helping the people that struggle with it, this YouTube channel walks more than it talks. Educational, emotional and powerful are just a few words to describe this dream of ending homelessness.

As the channel grew, Horvath built a charity around the fight against the parasite of poverty. Invisible People is now not only a phenomenal embodiment of love, but it is also a nonprofit organization that is on the ground and in the streets. Unlike many others throughout the world, homeless people are not given the privilege of having a voice. They do not usually have social media, and the average person walks by them as if they are buzzing bees that need to be swatted away. Invisible People gives them a voice, a face and a vessel of hope.

These videos have garnered millions upon millions of views and have helped to get people on their feet and back into society. While most of the videos are interviews with homeless people, Horvath also features a series of “updates” of where their journey has taken them.

Some of the most popular updates include EJ, a homeless 18-year-old who has now found a way to get his life back on track; Natasha, who went from homeless to a poster child for welfare reform in the United Kingdom; and Arien, who worked together with another homeless friend to find their way out of poverty and into the workforce at Chipotle. Out of the hundreds of interviews that Horvath has conducted, not a single one contains a person with the slightest indication of a mean soul. It is remarkable how truly every last person featured is somebody radiantly kind with a tragic story.

“The purpose of Invisible People is to start a conversation about change.” — Mark Horvath

The ideas of independence, relentless work ethic and being the master of our own destiny are shoved down our throats at every corner. The world wants people to believe that they are more powerful than reality, and while that is a wishful thought, it is not true. Life is hard, and just maybe we need to work together and help each other a bit more. One day, maybe there will be a world where nobody is alone.

Some people are more blessed than others, but we are all in this battle together. Homelessness is a sick reality that doesn’t need to be real, and that is what Invisible People has personally shown me. Hopefully, you can watch these amazing examples of love and compassion and absorb the lessons that I have. There is only one love, and we all possess it. They say love is a dead word, so let’s revive it with each other through every last waking moment. I stand with the Invisible People mission, donate to the charity and subscribe to the channel to join the fight against homelessness.

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Daniel Buccafusca

East Stroudsburg University
Psychology & English (Creative Writing)

A versatile creative and professional racecar driver looking to be the best person I can be.

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