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 InvisiblePeople.tv 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 InvisiblePeople.tv 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 http://InvisiblePeople.tv/live. 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 herephoto credits – The News Tribune and Wm. Marc Salsberry