As Invisible People travels amplifying the voice of people experiencing homelessness to educate and inspire, there are so many other important stories of homeless people and service providers not being told. Part of the transition to a new Invisible People is I want to create more educational content. I am trying to figure out a way to bring you all along with me to experience those stories. Because it’s just me and I can only use the resources I have now, I am trying to use a vlog format. This video is the second episode that will be an ongoing behind the scenes look at my work and adventures! Here is a link to the first episode.
Creating more educational content and figuring out some way to bring you all along with me is the reason I started a Patreon page. I have never been able to give 100% of my time to help Invisible People reach it’s potential in ending homelessness, but once we succeed in achieving a few goals my hope and prayer is that I will be able to do this full time! Who knows, maybe even hire production crews to help capture more stories and make better videos.
When I started the day with Ryan driving around Traverse City meeting homeless people, I did not know what to expect. I just hit the record button on the camera along the way. I also didn’t plan on making such a long video. There is so much information that came up about homelessness and housing homeless people I felt it was important to include.
The biggest highlight of the day and this video is how the faith-based community in Traverse City has stepped up to provide services to homeless people.
We visited a church that provides a morning meal and showers. Then we visited a church-run day center that is probably the nicest rural day center I have ever visited. They even provide a storage solution, which is so important to homeless people yet offering storage is rare in secular homeless services!
Ryan takes me to visit a homeless woman newly placed in housing! She was sleeping outside for 38 years! It’s a powerful segment. Antoinette shares candidly about after spending so much time homeless that now being indoors makes her uncomfortable. Her story highlights the importance of housing and that we much never give up on people!
We then meet a group of homeless people in the local library. Ryan does an intake with a homeless woman who fell and broke her back. Whitey helps a homeless man with her phone take an employment test online to hopefully get a job. It’s a powerful digital inclusion story! Everything these days is online yet homeless people or people in poverty do not have access to the internet.
We end the day touring the new shelter being built by 24 area churches. The church used to host homeless people in a rotating shelter model. That’s where people experiencing homelessness have to travel between the churches. It is so amazing seeing churches collaborate to build a facility so now the churches will rotate and the homeless people will always go to one place!
Because of automation, we will soon see massive layoffs. Homeless service budgets will continue to shrink because there will be less funding! The only way we will end homelessness or even see a significant reduction is through the faith-based community working with each other and their community to provide real solutions to homeless people. My visit to Traverse City left me inspired that churches can and will work together to end homelessness.
If you work or volunteer in homeless services or a faith-based ministry, I hope you’ll watch this entire video and share it with your network. More people need to hear this message of dignity, love collaboration, housing, and providing real tangible solutions to people experiencing homelessness.