Headed to Alaska

I never thought I would be visiting Alaska especially while it’s still winter season. Many of you know I moved to Los Angeles from Upstate New York many years ago because I hate cold. But just like all the other trips (Sacramento and National) the stories of homeless people got into my heart.

I can’t remember when Ann Glenn started to send me links about people dying on the streets in Alaska, but I do remember each one wrecked me. Because I had no intention of traveling north I kind of put them out of my mind.  Ann was relentless and continued sending news links until eventually it got into my heart.  I replied to one of her tweets with something like, “Ok, I’ll go in summer”! Ann’s come back – “they’re not dying in summer”! OUCH!  Her response was all the motivation I needed.

I wanted to visit in January but I currently work at PATH Achieve supporting the Glendale Winter Shelter. Besides the honor of helping homeless people connect to services it also pays my rent.  With everything that is going on right now the earliest I could travel was next weekend.

The other challenge was raising money for this trip. Besides travel expenses I don’t get paid time off and need to come up with rent.  Two of the most gorgeous people I have ever met, Moira Nordholt and Ron Proulx, along with Aprix Media, decided to throw a party. What started out as a typical fundraising party turned into one of the best experiences of my life – The WooWoo Awards. There are no words to describe how grateful I am to Moria and Ron for their friendship.

Then I received an email from Jessica Gottlieb, another truly gorgeous person who continues to fight for behind the scenes.  It was short and teasing, “I know something you don’t, but it’s good”. WHAT! Don’t ya just hate it when people do that to you? Next thing you know I’m in talks with another great group of people connecting me to Hertz Car Rental.

Hertz is rocking my world. They are supporting my trip to Alaska and for all the right reasons. I am very impressed with the team behind the scenes and I look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship.  Without Hertz’s support this trip would not be happening. They have asked nothing in return so this next sentence is 100% from me. Please support Hertz and the brands that are helping the homeless cause.  Show your thanks by using Hertz next time you travel and be sure to tell them why.

Something else is happening that I have never seen before.  Mayor Dan Sullivan and his team headed by homeless coordinator Darryl Hess have been wonderful.  I will be interviewing Mayor Sullivan March 2nd around 2pm live on I am really excited because from what I see the City of Anchorage along with their community is taking real action to save lives.

At the risk of sounding like my old response television days, “but that’s not all”,  I have been asked to speak March 2nd at an Ignite Anchorage event.  I did not have any previous contact with the Dean Franklin until I started to tweet about Alaska.  Dean has been a huge help in almost every area of my journey. I cannot wait to thank him in person.  Dean helped me find Copper Whale Inn and the owner loves what I am doing and gave a very much-needed reduced rate.

So follow along March 1st, 2nd and 3rd as I visit homeless camps in Alaska and interview some of the Anchorage community making a real impact getting people off the streets!

If you would like to help support this and future efforts you can find a donation link here

photo credits – The News Tribune and Wm. Marc Salsberry
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  • JessicaGottlieb

    All I did was KNOW. You did all the hard work and Nancy and her group at Ketchum are the ass kickiest group in town.

    So yeah, I sent an email, but you did the work. Own it Mark, you are amazing.

  • Danny Brown

    Safe travels, man – you're doing incredible things and if karma comes around, you're owed some serious happy juice soon, fella.


  • edoneillarbra

    Ed O'Neill Thank you so much Mark Horvath for finding your way to our great state. We have several homeless camp sites to visit if time allows. ARBRA

  • edoneillarbra

    @invisiblepeople: Hi Mark, When in Alaska please call me at 907-240-1818 to visit homeless camp sites. email; Have a safe trip. God Bless you and your community work. Ed

  • edoneillarbra


    America's homeless crisis is soon to get worse. According to data from the Labor Department, more jobs have been lost in the past 12 months than any other period since the government began keeping records in 1939. Perhaps most disconcerting is that experts predict unemployment will get worse before the economy gets better. In 1991 and 2001, unemployment didn't hit its peak until two years after those recessions ended. We can no longer close our eyes to the issues of poverty and homelessness. People like Mark Horvath’s and Alaska's ARBRA’s are giving the illegal homeless campers a face and voice so they are invisible no more. We wants you to remember that the homeless people ignored today were much like a lot of us not very long ago. They're not the stereotype inebriates camped out in the woods around our cities and homes. Their folks that need a leg up from a caring community. Lets push our selves away from the comfort zone, As Mayor Sullivan is asking us to do; go out and talk to these people like Mark and ARBRA volunteers have done for years as caring citizens, businesses and nonprofit agencies of Anchorage. In order to better serve those in need it’s important to know more about the people camped in the shadows and off our neighborhood trails, what are their backgrounds (document each one) and why are they choosing this lifestyle? We also need this information in a timely week-to-week, day-to-day manner so constructive intervention can take place; and not after something bad has happened. For those who are displaced and trying to get back on their feet, It's the same as it's always been, there is not enough low-income housing or shelters available and their won’t be for years to come. For the short term these campers need to have a clean, safe, managed place too camp-out with some basic amenities. They don’t feel safe illegally camped out like unwanted souls with no legal place to go. They are afraid of homeless bashing by young people, women are afraid of being raped by other campers, etc. It’s the same year after year and unfortunately with the economic conditions in Alaska Villages it’s getting worse.


  • Drew Lucas

    Go get em Mark!! So proud of all you are doing. And- Kudos to Hertz for stepping up to the plate… Looking forward to see lives changed in Alaska.

  • Drew Lucas

    Go get em Mark!! So proud of all you are doing. And- Kudos to Hertz for stepping up to the plate… Looking forward to see lives changed in Alaska.

  • monicawodenscheck

    i know all at heart what i read in the deloge missouri newspaper mark i been there done that and still there homeless i was married to a retired army man 3 years he spent 27 years in army made E9 sergeant major he drank so much kept saying i would be set with a pension when he died may 1 of 2008 i went to va and found out he was getting full pension while he was alive i guess his whiskey and vodka drinking since 1994 he forgot that that started my tail spin into my homeless friend to friend couch to couch town to town even homeless shelter april of this year i have been ate up and spit out soooo many times it ain t funny i think if you come to our hill billy woods i can show you homeless for real i came from a bad childhood mean stepfather belts switches ran away from home at 12 and again at 13 i really do believe i have a best seller book if i had help to wright it or better yet a darn good movie that wood blow the us familys minds i know theres been people worst off than me thats why i try to make my cries silent like right now i had to stop to dry my eyes to see the key board if you wanna know more you can call me 5736315785 or write me at pobox 18 pilot knob missouri 63663 im monica wodenscheck im 53 my birth day is sept 11 and im homeless thank you mark please sent me some guideance i sure need it im in a bad situation now i moved in a bedroom with a friend she has hers i agreed to help with lights and gas i give my last 84 dollar check to electric co and cause i did not pay gas 55 bucks she knifed 2 of my tires the car is junk anyway but it was all i had i need help get me outta here please ty monica w