This past week lots of great things happened and I’ll write about more of them soon. But maybe the coolest was visiting with Ann Marie who is no longer homeless. Many of you may remember her from 140 Conference Los Angeles. Ann joined me on stage while she was still homeless and we received a standing ovation at the Kodak Theater. Now remember I used to be homeless in front of the area of where the Kodak was built so I will be forever grateful to Jeff Pulver for letting us on that stage. You can watch the powerful video here.
I’d like to say that I found Ann Marie in Chicago, but the truth is that she found me. Ann Marie uses social media to escape from her world and connect with others. When I arrived in the Windy City I received a tweet from @padschicago and the next day we arranged to meet in a train station.
Chicago blogger and now friend Megan Cottrell happened to be with me the day I met Ann Marie and wrote what still may be my favorite Invisible People post. PLEASE read this powerful post here. You can watch Ann’s original Invisible People video here.
Ann Marie has been sharing on social media that she found permanent supportive housing which is amazing. She has been tweeting pics and videos of her new place so I had a feeling she’d be OK if we stopped by for a visit. Marla Schulman and I jumped into a cab and went to Lakeview area of Chicago to visit her. Ann was waiting on the sidewalk for us. She looked great – like a normal person not a street person. I know first hand how hard it is to pull yourself out of homelessness. Ann had been on the streets for many years making it even harder. But she should be very proud of her accomplishment because she did this. She fought all all kinds of battles to get off the streets. I am so happy for her.
I am honored to be speaking next month at 140 Conference NYC. Great things happen at 140 Conference and you don’t want to miss it.