Mark Horvath is Using a Ford to Make Invisible People Visible

There is no humorous twist in this article. However, just like Mark Horvath's video blog, InvisiblePeople.tv, there is a message of hope.

There is meaning in the name of Mark's video blog. He explains that some homeless are passed on the street as if they don't exist. As if they are invisible. Others are ignored the way one would disregard a piece of trash on the sidewalk. Mark's goal is to make the homeless visible to everyone.

This summer, InvisiblePeople.tv is traveling across America to capture the stories of people without homes. By visiting tent cities, motels, and other modern-day accommodations for people without a home, this tour will unearth the modern-day realities of homelessness, while providing a venue for invisible people to tell their stories, raw and unedited.

On his site, Mark writes about himself, "I not only feel their pain, I truly know their pain. I lived their pain. You'd never know it now, but I was a homeless person. Fourteen years ago, I lived on Hollywood Boulevard. But today, I find myself looking away, ignoring the faces, avoiding their eyes - and I'm ashamed when I realize I'm doing it. But I really can feel their pain, and it is almost unbearable, but it's just under the surface of my professional exterior."

We're providing Mark with a Ford vehicle for his road trip. From Los Angeles to Detroit, he'll drive a 2010 Ford Flex. In Detroit, we'll provide another vehicle for him to continue his journey.

The InvisiblePeople.tv Great American Road Trip will stop at roughly 20 cities and communities across the country (subject to change). A local homeless service provider will be arranged to serve as a guide. Local and national media outreach and speaking engagements will be a key component of each stop along the tour.

Through his Web site, he shares the stories of homeless people he meets on the streets. The site's segments are told by real people, in their own very real words. The innovative pieces, which began airing last November, are raw, uncensored and unedited - just like life on the streets.

Since InvisiblePeople.tv launched in November 2008, it has made an unprecedented splash on the Web. It has been featured on American Family Radio, Mashable.com, Change.org, NetNewsDaily.com, osocio.org, ChurchMarketingSucks.com, TakePart.com, PhilCooke.com, NonprofitMarketingBlog.com, LAist.com, and over 100 other blogs. When users visit InvisiblePeople.tv, they are immediately engaged; 76 percent of visitors to InvisiblePeople.tv stay longer than 20 minutes and 11 percent stay longer than an hour. Find more information about InvisiblePeople.tv

According to InvisiblePeople.tv, on any given night, over three million people sleep without a home to call their own. In the past year, homelessness in America has snowballed into a full-fledged crisis. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, 80 percent of individuals and 90 percent of families are homeless due to economic reasons. Community-based homeless service organizations from California to Massachusetts are reporting sharp increases in demand. In many communities, there are not enough shelter beds to meet the need, contributing to the growth of tent cities and the transformation of motels into temporary homeless shelters.

The experience of being displaced and without a home is devastating. The experience of living in a shelter, on the streets, or in a tent city is humbling. And the experience of sharing one's story is powerful. For those less impacted by the economic downturn, the experience of coming face-to-face with people who are often shunned by society is both eye-opening and deeply moving.

The schedule of stops is as follows:

Vegas (arrive on 15th) 7/16, 17

Phoenix (arrive 18th) 7/19, 20

Albuquerque (arrive 21st) 7/22

Fayetteville (arrive 23rd) 7/24, 25, 26 (large event on 24th)

Dallas or Fort Worth (arrive 27th) 7/28, 29

Austin (arrive 30th) 7/31, 8/1, 2

Baton Rouge (arrive 3rd)  8/4

New Orleans 8/5, 6, 7

Tampa (arrive 8th) 8/9, 10

Miami 8/11, 12

Atlanta (arrive 13th) 8/14

Nashville (arrive 16th) 8/16

Huntsville 8/17

Greensboro (arrive 18th, fly to Seattle 19th)

Speaking at Gnomedex 8/20, 21

Greensboro 8/23, 24

Washington (arrive on 25th) 8/26 - 30

Speaking at The Idea Camp 8/28, 29

Allenton (arrive on 31st) 9/1

New York 9/3 - 7

Binghamton 9/9 - 11

Cleveland (arrive 12th) 9/13, 14

Detroit (arrive 15th) 9/16, 17

Chicago (arrive 18th) 9/19, 20

St Paul (arrive 21st) 9/22

Sioux Falls or Des Moines (arrive 23rd) 9/24

Denver (arrive 26th) 9/27, 28, 29

Salt Lake (arrive 30th) 10/1

San Francisco (arrive 3rd) 10/4, 5

Los Angeles 10/7
D Royal 07/24/2009
Yay, Mark! This is good work in hard times. Yay, Ford! Thanks for supporting the good work. Makes me proud to own a Ford.
Tsani Jones 07/24/2009
Thank you for your support of Mark. This is a message that is critical to American society as well as the local areas he will be passing through. In a time of crisis, and a diminishing of public positive opinion, you have restored my faith in the Ford Company.
Mr. Ed 07/24/2009
Thanks, Ford. You couldn't have found a more worthy cause to support.
Linda 07/21/2009
Thanks Ford!!!!! (I posted a thank you yesterday but can't find it, so I'm saying thank you again!)
Debra Pryor 07/21/2009
Ford, you are amazing. Thank you for providing Mark with that beautiful Ford Flex for his trip. There was no mistaking it when he rolled up to the Phoenix Rescue Mission for his day with us while he was in Phoenix!
Dave Cooper 07/21/2009
for all those at Ford thank you so much for helping Mark in his endeavors to make the sometimes hopeless situation of the homeless a visual reality for America. In these economic times I know it is hard for even large companies like Ford to make the step but it is not going unnoticed.
Wayne Bradley 07/21/2009
Thank you so much for helping Mark on his very important journey. We feel that he is doing what is necessary to help bring awareness to the true situations of hundreds of thousands of Americans - disillusioned, thrown away, and broken by a hypocritical and greedy society.
mpb 07/21/2009
Thank you Ford for helping bring light. (I hope the trip can get to Alaska, too. )
greg 07/21/2009
thanks Ford for supporting this worthiest of causes. I hope the company benefits from such enlightened sponsorship... so people, get out there and buy a ford! Mark says the Flex is amazing.
traci 07/21/2009
This is such an awesome venture. I myself went through a short period living on the streets. It is such a scary situation and very few even care. Hopefully this will change people's views. Great thing and awesome to hear how Ford is helping.
Jennifer 07/21/2009
During times of crisis, it easy to only look inward. Thank you Ford for supporting Mark, as he addresses a very real problem in our country. Your generous act gives hope to me, and many others, that change can be made.
Adrea 07/21/2009
Thank you, Ford! Your support for Mark and his cause is amazing!!! Go Ford!
Anita Shortland 07/20/2009
Awsome work Ford! So glad u are supporting this cause.
Clint 07/20/2009
What a great cause for Ford to be supporting. My thanks to the people that made this happen!
Brent A. 07/20/2009
Pretty amazing. Way to go Ford.
Erin 07/20/2009
thanks for supporting this cause! i think mark is doing great things :)
Marguerite 07/20/2009
I'm so glad an American car company stepped up to support this American cause. Thank you Ford!
tamara 07/20/2009
What an amazing way to make a difference. This is the kind of thing that makes me trust an American company!
Tommy 07/20/2009
I am very impressed that Ford would help bring awareness to this national problem. This shows how much Ford cares about all people in this great country. Thanks for being involved and helping in this cause.
Todd Fisk 07/20/2009
Thanks for supporting this man and his work. It's important for those of us more fortunate to remember that a lot of people are hurting out there.
Marsha 07/20/2009
Mark, you come close to my home in Charleston, SC, but your list doesn't hit my state at all. If you want to come here, i'll help. I work at the daily newspaper here. But i'll help you independent of that, if that's better.
Amanda 07/20/2009
I'm SOOO glad you all came through for Mark! As promised via twitter, I now have a special place in my heart for Ford.
Annie Greene 07/20/2009
Ford + Mark = Love

Thank you FORD - thank you MARK.

God is good.
gwendolyn 07/20/2009
Thank you for supporting Mark!
Heather 07/20/2009
THIS IS AWESOME!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Susan Stevenson 07/20/2009
It's great to see a company support such a great cause. I knew I was doing the right thing in continuing to only own a Ford!!
Please continue to support Mark in his effort to make America aware of the Homeless issue we face and how all of us need to reach out to these families that have no real place to call home.
Scott 07/20/2009
Mark's heart to give a realness and voice to our homeless brothers and sisters is an amazing gift. Thank you Ford!
Jim 07/20/2009
Fantastic that Ford is supporting Mark. To Mark - you're an incredible individual! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Meghan 07/20/2009
love it!! such a great project.
Grizzly Smith 07/20/2009
This is a Good Thing.

I've had three periods of homelessness in my life, none of them pleasant -- one of them while I was employed in a fairly good-paying job; I was living in a motel near work, and couldn't afford to get an apartment with what I had left after paying for the motel. Never could get out of the hole.

And that job, by the way, was at an auto parts pre-processing plant near Detroit.

This is something Ford needs to be doing. Thanks, guys.

Griz
gwendolyn 07/20/2009
Thanks for supporting Mark!
Douglas Vos 07/20/2009
I think the invisible people project is awesome, and invisiblepeople.tv is touching lives in a powerful way. This reminds me of the book: "Under the Overpass", but the videos bring out things that a book cannot do. Thank-you Mark Horvath. Thank-you Scott Monty. Thank-you Bill Ford. Thank-you Alan Mulally and the whole Ford Motor Company. Thank-you to American Family Radio and all the bloggers and tweeters for spreading the word.
Kevin 07/20/2009
Thanks for supporting Mark. I can't wait until he comes to the Twin Cities so I can check out the Flex.
Rev. Andy Bales 07/20/2009
Thanks for supporting Mark's good work! Bless you! My next purchase will be a Ford.
Stefania 07/20/2009
Learned about this initiative today and wanted to say thank you for shining a light on this problem. I believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every person--EVERY person, and there is no reason why these people should be invisible.

Thanks, Ford, for being a company that does good.
Elizabeth Anderson 07/20/2009
Awesome! Will see him in Fayetteville,AR!
Margie 07/20/2009
Thank you so very much for giving Mark your support in his quest to bring a face and voice to homelessness. He is making us remember that the homeless people that we pass by on the street, are our fellow human beings who need our kindness and a hand up. Thank you!
brian mccloskey 07/20/2009
Thanks Ford for supporting this project! Major props to you and invisiblepeople for this venture.
Scott Overpeck 07/20/2009
A great cause to support and great way to build your brand. Mark is an awesome guy and I am glad you guys were able to connect.
Margie 07/20/2009
A huge thank you to Ford for making this possible. Mark is out there touching people hearts with these stories, and helping us to realize that people who are homeless are our fellow human beings who are suffering. Your generosity will be repaid time and time again, you can be sure.
Shon 07/20/2009
We need more people like you in this world:)
Barb 07/20/2009
Thanks for supporting the awesome work being done by Mark!
Anthony 07/20/2009
I'm honored to know Mark Horvath and i think it's an incredible thing that FORD has given mobility to this message of hope!
Angela Harms 07/20/2009
Nice one, Ford. Thanks for supporting him.
katherine sutton 07/20/2009
thanks @ford! social responsibility at its best!
Allen 07/20/2009
Mark is starting a Revolution!
J Daniels 07/20/2009
I'm not surprised Ford is in efforts of community and family, but, am surprised at this one. I've been doing research and writing articles on the poor, but just can't stomach writing about the homeless, my heart breaks too much in this sector, and can't do it, I've tried. Whoever thought of this effort to bring these to surface has my admiration. There are many reasons why many of these have made it to this level of life, cultrual, educational, language, inherent differences, and thats besides the self inflicted ones. Only someone like Mark can bring gravity to this plight of our homeless. I like what Ford Motor is doing here (I just can't watch it). Ford really surprised me on this one.
Rob 07/18/2009
Thank you for SUPPORTING a great awareness cause. I am very impressed by your commitment.
Brent 07/18/2009
Awesome. Proud of you Ford for supporting a cause like this!
dave 07/18/2009
I think it is great that you are supporting Mark and his efforts! It's great to see corporations stepping up to lend a hand. Thank you.
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