The Calgary Homeless Foundation and Community Action Committee Embark on Cross-Country Tour With Mark Horvath and invisiblepeople.tv

Formerly homeless man turned social media guru set to put a face to homelessness in Canada

July 04, 2011

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - July 4, 2011) - Not many people quite understand homelessness like Mark Horvath. The formerly homeless man, turned social media activist, will embark on a cross-country tour this summer, coordinated by the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF), in partnership with the Community Action Committee (CAC). Horvath will travel across Canada from July through September 2011 with one goal: to share the stories and experiences of the people he meets, with the help of socially responsible companies, Chevrolet, Petro-Canada and Delta Hotels.

Horvath, @invisiblepeople on Twitter, is now renowned in the social media world and was named by The Huffington Post as one of the 11 Twitter activists to follow. He has become an internationally recognized activist and ambassador for the millions of individuals and families who reside in shelters, motels, tents, back alleys and under bridges across the USA. Now he will uncover the story right here in Canada.

"Our goal is to expose Canadians to the un-natural disaster of homelessness in our communities through the personal stories of those experiencing it," said Tim Richter, president and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation. "I believe when Canadians are introduced to their homeless neighbours through Mark's lens, they will be compelled to act. We hope this action will be to join Calgary and a growing number of Canadian communities in a commitment to end homelessness."

City Date City Date
Victoria July 5-6 Regina August 5-6
Vancouver July 7-10 Winnipeg August 8-9
Kelowna July 12 Thunder Bay August 11
Calgary July 14-17 Sault Ste Marie August 13
Edmonton July 18-19 Toronto August 19-22
Whitehorse July 21-22 Ottawa August 28-30
Yellowknife July 24-26 Montreal September 1-3
Fort McMurray July 28 Fredericton September 5-6
Edmonton July 30-31 Halifax September 8-9,14
Saskatoon August 2-3 St. John's September 11-12

(i) dates subject to change. Visit www.calgaryhomeless.com/cac for the most up-to-date schedule.

"Putting the power of social media into the hands of the homeless and nearly homeless is a grand social movement," said Barry Davidson, chair of the CAC. "We truly believe the stories Mark shares will help galvanize Canadian communities to take action to end homelessness."

How can you help?

  • Spread the word, post stories on Facebook and Twitter, try and gain as much attention as you can.
  • Welcome him to your community and provide him with a tour of your city and where the homeless stay.
  • Speak to your media friends and help him get noticed.
  • Follow Mark's journey on Twitter @hardlynormal.
  • Help build support for 10 Year Plans and a Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Mark Horvath

Horvath's journey can be followed on www.invisiblepeople.tv, a site that shares unedited, uncensored and raw interview footage, as well as www.wearevisibile.com, a site committed to giving people dealing with poverty and homelessness the tools they need to get online and have a voice. Follow his journey on Twitter @hardlynormal, which currently has almost 12,000 followers. Horvath has been featured by L.A. Times, CNN, CBS, Mashable.com and NPR. He has spoken at several conferences and events, including Blog World, Gnomedex, South by Southwest, 140 Character Conference and the Nonprofit Technology Conference. In 2010, he had 2.3 million video views with an average of 50,000 views per month.

10 Year Plan

From 1994 to 2006, Calgary had Canada's fastest growing population of people experiencing homelessness, with nearly 3,500 people sleeping in shelters and outside in May 2006. In 2007, the Calgary Committee to End Homelessness (CCEH) was formed to create a 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness. The Plan was based on a 10 Year Plan model first introduced by the National Alliance to End Homelessness in the United States that was successfully reducing homelessness all over the U.S. Completed in January 2008, Calgary became the first city in Canada to have a Plan that committed the community to end homelessness. This tour supports the Calgary Homeless Foundation's goal to create a Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

The Community Action Committee

The CAC is the voice of community and works at the policy level providing real-time strategic and tactical information to coordinate the efforts of agencies, government and funders. Our membership represents over 100 organizations working directly with our most vulnerable and those at risk of homelessness in Calgary. Our members work on the frontline to plan, deliver, evaluate and assess the human services needed to achieve the goal of ending homelessness in Calgary. For more information about the CAC or the invisible people Canadian road trip visit www.calgaryhomeless.com/cac.