My third book project of 2010, Open Our Eyes: Seeing the Invisible People of Homelessness, will officially launch on Nov. 9. The book will support homeless advocate Mark Horvath and his work with the nonprofit InvisiblePeople.tv.
The book gives voice to homeless people, retelling their stories from videos on InvisiblePeople.tv. It also features the contributions from some 25 tech, nonprofit and social media experts reflecting on homelessness and the power of technology that Mark has harnessed. The book also tackles misconceptions about homelessness and gives suggestions for how you can help.
It officially launches on Nov. 9 and will be available for $9.99 on Amazon (details on digital formats are forthcoming). All profits will go to InvisiblePeople.tv. That works out to $3.84 per copy from Amazon, 100% of the royalty. I’m not making any money on this project.
Since Mark first supported one of my initial efforts to help the homeless (while he was facing homelessness himself), I’ve been a huge fan of him and his work. I’ve always thought Mark should have more support than he does and I’ve been appalled when I hear how he’s barely making it. Someone with his heart doing the work he’s doing shouldn’t have to worry about health insurance or what he’s going to eat. That’s why I so strongly supported his efforts to win the $50,000 Pepsi Challenge grant at SXSW (which he did win, and he reinvested into WeAreVisible.com, among other efforts).
And so I’ve always wanted to do something big to support Mark. Sure I could send him a check, but that’s not going to go very far (especially a check from my bank account). I always thought someone needed to rally behind Mark and create something to raise money for him.
I had the idea of creating a book with all the proceeds going to Mark. He has such a good story and has inspired so many and there’s such a need for a more in-depth resource like that. It was a brilliant idea (if I do say so myself), but no one was doing it.
So I decided it was time to do it.
Last January the process started and I actually thought we could have the book out in March. Silly me. Ten months later we’re finally getting the book out with the support of so many people (check out all those names at the bottom of the page—those are the ones who made this happen).
And we’re going to need more help. This is a self-published project and that means it won’t go anywhere unless we get it there. And to be honest, I’ve put so much time into this project that I really can’t afford to give it the time it now needs. My only hope is that the many contributors, the many friends and supporters of Mark, and folks like you will pick up the torch and carry this project home.
It’s time we opened our eyes and saw the invisible homeless people in our midst. They’re not just the stereotypical man on the corner with a cardboard sign. They’re families—just like mine. People—just like you—who were just one tragedy away from the street. Let’s open our eyes, open our hearts and help.