It’s times like these I wish I was better at written communication. There is so much I want to say, and so many people I need to thank. This truly has been the most amazing road trip and maybe even the best year of my life. Although there is so much of my blood, sweat and tears shed to make this all happen, the impact alone has made every personal and professional sacrifice so worth it. But this road trip was not about me. It is about the thousands of wonderful people living without permanent housing in Canada and the thousands of wonderful people working on solutions to help them. I am so very honored and grateful the Canadian people invited me to come help start a national conversation to end homelessness and supported InvisiblePeople.tv for the last 75 days.
Being honest, I never thought the donation of land to feed people experiencing poverty from the first road trip could be topped. But then this year one of the biggest highlights was CDI College now giving full-ride scholarships to low or no income people. And as if that wasn’t enough, Invisiblepeople.tv helped create Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. CAEH is still in the foundation stages, but Canada did not have national support to help people at the local level fighting poverty. The road trip ending in St John’s, Newfoundland, 3 three mayors from around Canada signed proclamations to join in the national fight to end homelessness. More mayors are soon to join, and the end result will be thousands of lives being saved. Click here for a Youtube playlist of the grand finale in St John’s.
There are so many people to thank. The people behind Calgary Homeless Foundation and the Community Action Committee made this road trip possible. Tim Richter, Barry Davidson, and Sean French are the heroes who made it all happen. A huge thanks to each and every service provider who took time out of their busy days to show me around. And most importantly, all our new homeless friends who shared with us their challenges of living on the streets so that we can build solutions that really work.
None of this would have happened without the love and support of our sponsors. Their support not only helps to validate the fight to end homelessness it saves money and resources. General Motors, Delta Hotels, Petro-Canada (Canada) , Murphy Oil (United States), Hanes, TubeMogul, Pitch Engine, and Virgin Mobile Canada, , all played a significant role in keeping the message loud and the costs down. InvisiblePeople.tv continues to be the most cost-effective education and awareness campaign in North America, but we couldn’t make any of that happen without the love and support of our sponsors. Please support brands that truly care about your community. Homelessness is not a sexy cause, and these brands are supporting for all the right reasons.
The conversation we created this summer is just the beginning. There is much more work to be done. I am grateful the Canadian people gave me this opportunity to help in such an amazing way, and I stand ready to continue to help any way I can.
At the beginning of this post there is a photo of my new friend Jason, who is homeless in St John’s, being asked to speak in the counsel chambers before the proclamation was signed. During my presentation Jason stood up to say thanks. Below is a short interview with Jason, and it might just be the highlight of my journey. St John’s mayor included Jason that day, which could not have been more perfect. InvisiblePeople.tv is all about treating each and every person with respect, and showing that homeless people are just like everyone else – people. By including Jason it showed the spirit of invisiblepeople.tv transmits even without words. I encourage each and every homeless service provider to include the homeless voice in every decision being made. Homeless people know far more about homelessness than any one of us do. Listening and including is important part to finding solutions to end homelessness.