Craig Newmark Philanthropies has generously awarded Invisible People a $50,000 unrestricted grant to help us invest in educational content and journalism targeting homeless veterans, as well as advocating for solutions to end homelessness.
Craig Newmark Philanthropies has been a consistent supporter of Invisible People’s mission. We launched our newsroom in 2019 with a generous grant from the organization that has continued showing us support in 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Independent nonprofit journalism is vital to highlight social issues that traditional news sources often ignore or do not cover enough. Being the only newsroom dedicated to covering homelessness and related topics, Invisible People focuses on educating and influencing change. We have come a long way since Craig Newmark Philanthropies helped launch our journalism intuitive, but we have more work to do as homelessness continues to grow.
Millions Reached Every Month
No organization or campaign connects the public to homelessness as meaningfully as Invisible People.
Currently, Invisible People employs 79 freelance writers (independent contractors): 16 writers are regular contributors, three are currently homeless, and eight have previously experienced homelessness. Our writers have their fingers on the pulse of homeless communities. They are the real experts, passionate about ending homelessness.
Our journalists cover a wide range of topics, including veteran homelessness, tiny homes, homelessness and healthcare, the impact of tourism on homelessness, sweeps, rising rents, and so much more. In addition to our growing readership through our website, Apple News, and Google News, our YouTube channel also continues to grow. In May 2022, Invisible People’s YouTube channel reached a benchmark of 250 million views, 200 million of which are from the last three years, validating our growth and impact in educating people on homelessness.
Invisible People’s online and video journalism has helped generate the political will needed to push policy changes to support ending homelessness. For example, in early 2021, policymakers used this video on street medicine to support The Street Medicine Act (AB369) and the CA Department of Health Care Services’ approval of the Act’s provisions. In 2022, we aim to expand such partnerships and create content that will support the efforts of local advocates and policymakers in cities across the United States.
The Spread of Disinformation
Our reach has grown, but so has the spread of disinformation and negative propaganda. Disinformation and NIMBYism are pushing policy change toward criminalization, drowning out coverage of effective solutions.
At least 83% of major cities across the United States currently have laws criminalizing homelessness, an increase of over 90% since 2006. These laws are becoming more widespread and severe, partly due to the well-funded negative propaganda campaigns that are increasing in number and frequency.
Our journalists counteract these efforts, informing our readers about criminalization efforts in Tennessee, Seattle, Austin, and elsewhere. They also bring individual stories to the forefront, showing how criminalization has hurt and even killed homeless people.
While powerful, right-wing groups like PragerU have produced videos with harmful messaging that reach millions of viewers, our writers counteract these efforts. Thanks to the ongoing support from Craig Newmark Philanthropies and others, we will continue to publish stories that fight disinformation.
Helping Us to Change the Narrative
Invisible People’s groundbreaking work and innovative staff make us uniquely positioned to counter the spread of disinformation and inhumane policies that worsen the problem of homelessness. Between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, the $50,000 from Craig Newmark Philanthropies will help build our capacity to amplify the truth and change the narrative surrounding homelessness. We will dedicate funds from Craig Newmark Philanthropies to increase our coverage of veteran homelessness, as well as support the following work:
- Expanding Investigative Journalism. We will continue expanding our team of 15 journalists, eight of whom are homeless or formerly homeless, to include experienced and established writers who will dive deeper into the barriers to ending homelessness in cities across the United States.
- Growing our video journalism team in Los Angeles and remotely in other cities across the United States. This team will create long-form and short-form videos that build upon our written journalism content, particularly investigative ones, and support national and local campaigns working to change policies and implement solutions.
- Educating Youth on Homelessness. We aim to create online education programs that target youth to build awareness of the root causes of homelessness and what works to end it. Through such an effort, we hope to focus the attention of young activists and future voters on the cause of ending homelessness and potentially influence their parents to get involved and support solutions at the ballot box.
Thanks to the support of Craig Newmark Philanthropies, we continue to educate the public about the homelessness crisis. We also encourage supporters to become ambassadors for change. We will continue growing the first-ever nonprofit newsroom focused solely on homelessness and related topics influencing positive change.
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.