Updated: Apr 24, 2018
LAX has been steadily buying properties in a 20-square-block neighborhood to make space for a centralized rental car facility and a transportation hub. Overgrown and underpopulated, the neighborhood has become a ghost town, attracting people living in RVs and tents. It was an eerie feeling watching through Manchester Square for the first time. RVs and tents were everywhere but unlike the tent communities we see growing on cement sidewalks in Los Angeles, the open fields of green grass made it feel like a suburban Skid Row. Mark lives in a tent in this section of Inglewood near the Los Angeles International Airport. He told me that his girlfriend recently died due to sickness from sleeping outside in a tent. Mark went on to say the man across the street and two other people on the next block also passed away. The number of homeless people who died on Los Angeles County’s streets and shelters doubled in the last five years, rising to 831 deaths in 2017, according to a recent report. Cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, diabetes, cancer, cirrhosis, severe bacterial infections and other treatable conditions were all listed as causes of deaths reported by the Los Angeles County Office of Medical Examiner. Mark shares candidly about living homeless in Los Angeles. He says people have to move their stuff for street sweeping but they don't clean the street, or personal possessions are picked up and thrown away but not the trash. Mark says he has been on a list for Rapid Re-housing for a year and a half. He says his girlfriend filled out paperwork to get into housing four times. According to Mark, she was placed as critical on the housing list yet passed away while waiting. Like in many other cities, homelessness continues to increase in Los Angeles and there are not enough services to help all the homeless people that desperately need help.
About Invisible People: Since its launch in November 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. The vlog (video blog) gets up close and personal with veterans, mothers, children, layoff victims and others who have been forced onto the streets by a variety of circumstances. Each week, they’re on InvisiblePeople.tv, and high traffic sites such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, proving to a global audience that while they may often be ignored, they are far from invisible. 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.