The Unrestricted Gift Will Support Efforts to Educate the Public About Veteran Homelessness
Craig Newmark Philanthropies has awarded a $50,000 unrestricted grant to Invisible People to help us invest in educational content and journalism targeting homeless veterans, as well as advocating for solutions to end homelessness.
This isn’t the first time Craig Newmark Philanthropies has supported Invisible People’s mission.
We launched our newsroom in 2019 with generous support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. As of today, our educational and news content now reaches over one billion people annually through a combination of online channels including YouTube, Apple News, Google News, Facebook, Twitter, and our official news website.
Currently, Invisible People employs 68 freelance writers (independent contractors): 18 writers are regular contributors, five are currently homeless, and 14 have themselves previously experienced homelessness. Our writers have their fingers on the pulse of homeless communities. They are the real experts, passionate about ending homelessness.
Craig Newmark Philanthropies continued showing support in 2020. Invisible People received an unrestricted gift of $50,000 to support educational content and journalism targeting the impact COVID-19 had on people living on the streets, as well as advocating for solutions to end homelessness.
But there is still so much work to do as homelessness continues growing.
Per the recent U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) 2020 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report, 580,466 people experienced homelessness on a single night in 2020. This is an increase of 2.2% (12,751 people) from 2019. It’s important to note this count was conducted before the pandemic hit.
That means homelessness was on the rise before the economy suffered the consequences of coronavirus.
Alarmingly, 2020 saw the number of individuals (people not in families with children) experiencing unsheltered homelessness surpass the number of sheltered individuals for the first time. Furthermore, per the Economic Roundtable, “COVID-driven loss of jobs and employment income will cause the number of homeless workers to increase each year through 2023. Without large-scale, government employment programs the Pandemic Recession is projected to cause twice as much homelessness as the 2008 Great Recession.”
In Los Angeles alone, the homeless population is expected to grow 86% in four years. Los Angeles County is struggling with pandemic job loss, exorbitant housing costs, and a huge low-wage workforce. HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge states that “the pandemic has only made the homelessness crisis worse, and the nation has a moral responsibility to end homelessness.”
As the homelessness crisis continues to grow significantly, quality journalism focused on the topic of homelessness remains vital to influencing positive change. In addition to reaching more than 1 billion people annually through our channels in the past year, we have also achieved a 43.7% conversion rate for people taking action and contacting their representatives through our website.
Journalism on Homelessness is Important
Thanks to the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies, we are continuing to educate the public about the homelessness crisis and encouraging them to become ambassadors for change. We will continue growing the first ever nonprofit newsroom focused solely on homelessness and related topics influencing positive change.
Thanks to this grant, our newsroom will be able to expand our reporting on homeless veterans. This investment will provide vital information to educate the public about veteran homelessness, the need to support our vulnerable populations, and find solutions to help them.
To leverage our massive reach on YouTube (currently 951,168 subscribers), Invisible People will also use this funding to expand video journalism to reach new audiences and more people. This grant has made it possible for us to start production on video journalism covering Veteran’s Row, a tent city outside of the VA in West Los Angeles. We’ll also be able to expand our first-person storytelling and produce another series of mini-documentaries covering homelessness and other related topics.
About Invisible People
Invisible People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about homelessness through innovative storytelling, news, and advocacy. Since our launch in 2008, Invisible People has become a pioneer and trusted resource for inspiring action and raising awareness in support of advocacy, policy change and thoughtful dialogue around poverty in North America and the United Kingdom.
About Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. The organization works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families. For more information, please visit: CraigNewmarkPhilanthropies.org.