Help Fight Homelessness by Hosting a @home Viewing Event

Rick's Summer HomeCall me crazy, but I have always believed in the magic of social media to do amazing things. In fact, back in 2008, all I had was a dinky laptop, a cheap camcorder and social media. It was connecting to all of you and your on-going support that created Invisible People. Literally millions upon millions of people are reached every year that would have never had a positive interaction with someone experiencing homelessness.  The results have been everything from communities rallying to get someone off the streets because of a YouTube video (several people have found housing as a direct result of this website) to farmers donating land to help feed people, to being asked by foreign governments to help them fight homelessness, to working with major brands on awareness campaigns to help end homelessness. No other organization in the homeless services sector has come close to the impact you’ve helped create!

@home, a documentary about me and my work fighting homelessness with social media and digital storytelling, will be broadcast on public television stations in 35 states starting March 25th. The documentary is being featured on WORLD Channel programs. Stations, cities and broadcast times will be listed later in this post.  The film documents homelessness around United States as I traveled on my 2010 road trip and features one of the first 100,000 Homes registry weeks in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Its a good tool to help start the conversation about fighting homelessness in your community, but we need your help to augment the impact.

I have fond memories of the early days of Twitter. Because I adore the serendipity of social media when used for a good cause, one of my favorites has always been Twestival. Amanda Rose started a grassroots movement many years back that was truly amazing. In 2009, Twestival crowd sourced tweetups (do those even exist anymore?) in 202 cities around the world and raised huge money for charity:water. Some of the events were pretty significant while some were just a few people gathering at a bar or restaurant. It showed how social media can be used to organically organize people to gather for a purpose and have impact.

Some of you may remember Twittamentary, a crowd sourced documentary about Twitter directed by Tan Siok Siok. I just loved the spirit behind the Twittamentary movement. One of my favorite memories of the movie is they rented a box truck at SXSW and hosted ‘popup’ screenings in parking lots.  No matter what city in whatever country Twittamentary was playing in,  you could guarantee people in the audience would be interacting via twitter with people featured in the film,  who often were thousands of miles away and in different time zones. The magic of social media was fun to watch.


Sadly, there is little to no resources to help promote the broadcast or create a campaign to amplify the conversation. But that’s OK, because like with both Twestival and Twittamentary, we have YOU – the wonderful people who like to do amazing things with social media and make good things happen regardless of budget.

The point of this movie is to create a conversation on people experiencing homelessness and solutions to help them.  At the end of this post I will list cities, stations and times. If you live in one of those communities and are a make-things-happen type person, it would be awesome if you (or a team) would start promoting the PBS airing and make some kind of an event happen. If you want to make it a fundraiser, PLEASE PICK A LOCAL HOMELESS SERVICES to benefit. It’s important we fight homelessness at a local level. Plus, supporting a local homeless services would just be a better fit for any local event.

Local social media clubs, this could be an awesome event to make happen. It was the Los Angeles Social Media Club that first helped support this work. If you’re a homeless services and @home is playing in your area, you may want to host a screening at your facility. Be creative, have fun, and share share share on social media!

This will be a ‘living’ post as I will share materials that can be used as they are created.  My hope is we’ll soon create a “tool kit” for people to use.

  • Seattle University created a discussion guide for the film that is in PDF. It’d be cool if someone with mad coding and design skills was able to take the PDF and build a mobile-friendly website people could interact with while viewing. If you have those skills or know of someone please contact me.
  • Here is a link to graphics for every city and station.
  • Here is a PhotoShop template to use to make graphics. You just have to change out the city, station and times. If you are hosting an event of course feel free to use to promote that event
  • Here is a link to a national press release. If you know someone in media please download and forward. Here is a link to a version that can be edited to use locally. Simply change out the station in top highlighted section and highlight your city/station in a listings and distribute. (Special thanks to Deb Brown and Jean Roth for originals used as foundation.)
  • This link is to a few photos from the movie you can download to use.
  • Hashtag is #AtHomePBS
  • This link is to the trailer and a few webisodes from the film. Video 2 is a must-see.
  • Urge your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to co-sponsor the Homeless Children and Youth Act.
  • If you can’t find a local homeless charity to support you could raise funds for a homeless person on HandUp.

If you have any ideas on how we can make this airing of @home have more impact please let me know, especially if it’s an campaign type idea that will keep the conversation going long after the documentary has aired.

Wednesday, March 25 at 7:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 12:00 AM, 8:00 AM and 2:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 1:00 PM ET

WEDU – Tampa, FL                       NHPTV – Durham, NH
WPBT – North Miami, FL               WNET – New York, NY
WUCF – Orlando, FL                     WNED – Buffalo, NY
WXEL – West Palm Beach, FL      WMHT – Troy, NY
WJCT – Jacksonville, FL               WXXI – Rochester, NY
WSRE – Pensacola, FL                 WCNY – Syracuse, NY
WGCU – Fort Myers, FL                WCFE – Plattsburgh, NY
WUFT – Gainesville, FL                 WSKG – Vestal, NY
GEOR – Atlanta, GA                      WPBS – Watertown, NY
ALAB – Birmingham, AL                WVIZ – Cleveland, OH
WGBH – Boston, MA                     WOUB – Athens, OH
WGBY – Springfield, MA               WCTE – Cookeville, TN
MPBN – Bangor, ME                       WKNO – Cordova, TN
WTVS – Wixom, MI                        WETP – Knoxville, TN
WKAR – East Lansing, MI              WLJT – Martin, TN
WHYY – Philadelphia, PA              WHRO – Norfolk, VA
WQED – Pittsburgh, PA                 WBRA – Roanoke, VA
WPSU – University Park, PA          VERM – Colchester, VT
WQLN – Erie, PA

Wednesday, March 25 at 6:00 PM and 11:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 7:00  AM and 1:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 12:00 PM

ARKA – Conway, AR                      KENT – Lexington, KY
IOWA – Johnston, IA                      WYES – New Orleans, LA
WTTW – Chicago, IL                      KWCM – Appleton, MN
WSIU – Carbondale, IL                  KETC – St. Louis, MO
WILL – Urbana, IL                          NDAK  – Fargo, ND
WMEC – Chatham, IL                    NEBR – Lincoln, NE
WTVP – Peoria, IL                         KERA – Dallas, TX
WTIU – Bloomington, IN                KLRN – San Antonio, TX
WVUT – Vincennes, IN                  WMVS – Milwaukee, WI

Wednesday, March 25 at 5:00 PM ant 10:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM
Saturday, March 28 at 11:00 AM

IDAH – Boise, ID                           SDAK – Vermillion, SD
MONT – Bozeman, MT                 KUED – Salt Lake City, UT

Wednesday, March 25 at 4:00 PM and 9:00 PM
Thursday, March 26 at 5:00 AM and 11:00 AM
Saturday, March 28 at 10:00 AM

KUAC – Fairbanks, AK                  KIXE – Redding, CA
KAET – Phoenix, AZ                     KEET – Eureka, CA
KUAT – Tucson, AZ                      KNME – Albuquerque, NM
KOCE – Santa Ana, CA                KSYS – Medford, OR
KQED – San Francisco, CA          KSPS – Spokane, WA
KVIE – Sacramento, CA

  • So glad this is coming to Maine too! I’ll promote it!

    That should read “MPBN” for Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

  • Thanks Marc. I changed it about to MPBN

  • I created a graphic to use in Syracuse area

  • Here is a graphic to use in Binghamton area. A PhotoShop template is in the post above for anyone to download and create their own for their area.

  • Thanks for creating a graphic to use in Maine

  • Grassroots Newark

    Any future plans for New. Jersey?

  • Here is a graphic for St Louis

  • laurie

    I’m so confused about the stuff that this post is asking for- its the end of the quarter so bare with me as my brain is fried!
    – how do i host a screening? I am part of a student group that works with homeless services in seattle.
    – are the screenings only on television or will we have to seek out services who are hosting?

  • Here is a link to a DropBox folder with a graphic for every station and city

  • Linda Salcfas

    Great question!

  • Sam Flood

    I’m partially confused as well.

  • @home is being broadcast on PBS around the U.S. starting on the 25th of
    March. The station/city listings are above. Sadly, I don’t see that it’s
    airing in Seattle at this time. I do believe the production company
    licenses the film to be screened if you wanted to host an event, or you
    could contact your local PBS station and ask them to broadcast it. I
    know there was a screening a few months back In Seattle and there may be
    others in the future. The film, although about me, is separate from me
    so I am not aware of what they have going on.

    Because there is no promotion or marketing of this PBS airing I was just trying to build momentum with this post.

    I hope that helps explain some. If you have more questions let me know

  • Hi Sam,

    I hope my response to Laurie helps clarify some. If not let me know

  • Dear Mark,
    This may not solve the TV broadcast financial issue. But here is something that will allow you to speak by radio to 1.5 million people globally. It is an online based radio show that air from 6 am to 9 am PT daily M-F. There is no cost or commitment.

    Anyone can become a correspondent. I am the ‘Healthy Living’ correspondent from New York. I speak everyday from about 5 minutes after the show starts for about 5 minutes. You can list4en in first to get a feel for the show and join, no cost, no obligation. The show is very being on getting the word out about people and organizations that help others.

    I really think this is a situation of ‘you have nothing to lose and plenty to gain’. God Bless and all the best with what you are doing/attempting to accomplish.

    Alison D. Gilbert

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