The unrestricted gift will support efforts to educate the public about the effects of the novel coronavirus on homelessness.
Craig Newmark Philanthropies has awarded a $50,000 unrestricted grant to Invisible People to help us invest in educational content and journalism targeting the impact COVID-19 has on people living on the streets, as well as advocating for solutions to end homelessness.
Invisible People launched its newsroom—the first to focus on homelessness and related topics—in 2019 with generous support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. Our educational and news content now reaches over one billion people annually through a combination of online channels, including YouTube, Apple News, Facebook, Twitter, an official website and other social media platforms.
Currently, Invisible People employs 38 freelance writers (independent contractors): seventeen writers are regular contributors, six are currently homeless, and five have themselves previously experienced homelessness.
Thanks to this grant, our newsroom has been able to hire six journalists to cover COVID-19. This investment will provide vital information to educate the public about the effect of the pandemic on homelessness, the need to support vulnerable populations, and the solutions to help people who need it most. We’ll also be able to expand our first-person storytelling and produce another series of mini-documentaries related to the crisis.
Homelessness Will Continue to Grow as COVID-19 Spreads
While the COVID-19 crisis has changed our lives, affecting families and upending communities around the world, our country’s vulnerable populations are most at risk from the global pandemic. It threatens the survival of those with limited access to food, shelter, and basic hygiene.
Even before this crisis, we were in a state of emergency, with homelessness on the streets of our nation increasing at epidemic proportions. In the wake of the COVID-19, cities, counties and states are scrambling to provide social distancing solutions and healthcare for unhoused populations, all while some neighborhoods continue to resist efforts to house homeless individuals and families within their communities.
According to current Bloomberg estimates, more than 22 million people—one in eight workers—have now filed for unemployment, more than during the Great Depression and the Great Recession. In addition to losing their livelihoods, many of these people will lose their homes. Some will end up living on the streets and on the margins of society.
Federal, state, and local politicians must free up funding and adapt their policies to prevent the pandemic from spreading within the homeless population. The alternative is having to pay steep emergency medical costs to care for people with few, if any, financial resources. The need for advocacy and education has never been more urgent, as we are faced with a moral and economic imperative to end homelessness once and for all.
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.