I have mixed feelings about today.
On one hand, I’m excited. Today- Wednesday, July 15th, 2009- marks the beginning of the InvisibePeople.tv Road Trip, U.S.A.
Today my journey to tent cities, shelters, and motels in over 20 cities across the country commence.
Today I set out to start capturing raw, unedited stories of people without a home, to bring their faces, their history, and their hopes to people around the world.
Originally, I had intended to get in my car and set out for Las Vegas; I didn’t plan on including stories from LA on the tour. After all, much of my content comes from the streets of Los Angeles.
But then, something about that didn’t feel right. I couldn’t start my journey without going back to the streets where I was homeless many years ago. Returning to Hollywood Boulevard is a good reminder of where I came from, where I’m going, and – most important – why I’m doing this.
So yesterday, on the streets of Hollywood Boulevard, I ran into Viper, a woman I met and interviewed last January. Six months ago, I cautioned that her story is tough to watch. Today, I must again heed the same warning. Viper is still homeless. She still sleeps on the streets each night. Sharing her story with the world six months ago has not changed the pain and struggles she deals with every day.
Hence the mixed feelings.
The Road Trip is both exciting and somber. I look forward to bringing you stories from people across the country who may otherwise be forgotten, shunned, and unknown. I look forward to bypassing the mainstream media spin and dispelling myths and stereotypes about homelessness in America. I look forward to meeting people who are no different than you and me. People with hopes and plans for a better tomorrow.
But at the same time, without action, this effort to share stories is futile. Change will not come without collective action.
So as the Road Trip kicks off today, I hope these stories spark something inside of you.