Adam Polaski over at The Good Men Project wrote a piece Mark Horvath: Shattering the “Self-Made Man” Myth. It describes his experience with Mark Horvath, a tireless and powerful advocate for homeless. The piece chronicles Horvath’s path from a successful TV executive who lost everything due to his heroin addiction. Horvath’s experience with homelessness and his struggle to find work, inspired him to tell the real stories of homelessness in the United States and around the world. His goal is to make “the invisible visible.”
Check out the original article for the entire story. The piece that struck me was Horvath’s rejection of being described as a self-made man. Despite his impressive achievements in utilizing social media to raise awareness about these issues and his numerous accomplishments, Hovarth stressed the importance of the community in effectively addressing these issues. He emphasized that he is where he is today because he has built on the successes of others. The videos on Invisible People are so powerful and effective because they effortlessly address the importance of intersectionality and homelessness. Many of the videos I watched address the issues of sexuality, economic issues, violence, race, religion, ability and numerous other identities and the impact on being homeless.
Click Read More for recent demographics and risk factors for homelessness in the United States.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness recently released The State of Homelessness in America 2011. Check out the entire pdf for specific information. Below I’ve included an excerpt from the report regarding demographics and risk factors related to homelessness.
- The doubled up population (people living with family or friends for economic reasons) increased by 12 percent to more than 6 million people from 2008 to 2009.
- Annually, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a doubled up person are 1 in 10.
- Annually, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a released prisoner are 1 in 11.
- Annually, the estimated odds of experiencing homelessness for a young adult who ages out of foster care are 1 in 6.
- While the national number of uninsured people remained relatively constant, 33 states saw an increase in the number of uninsured people.
Check out The National Coalition for the Homeless and The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for more information about homelessness. For those of you near Iowa City, check out The Shelter House for housing and services.