Change starts with a conversation
Three years ago, we met an activist who was breaking down barriers — pioneering the use of social media and web video for change.
Mark Horvath — aka @hardlynormal — is using his followings on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to empower homeless men and women across America to share their experiences in the first person. His website, InvisiblePeople.tv, challenges stereotypes, sparks dialogue, and is growing a movement committed to ending homelessness, right now.
On any given night, nearly 633,782 people in the United States experience homelessness — over 60,000 of them veterans. And the average age of a homeless person in the United States is only nine years old. When we met Mark, we would never have believed that ending homelessness is achievable — but he has convinced us, as he has thousands of others, that it is.
Our goal: to use film, social media, and a smartphone game to amplify Mark’s work — turning apathy into action, making the homeless men and women in your community visible, and inspiring more and more people to take action to solve homelessness in their own backyards.
Join @home, and be a part of the solution.
@home follows Mark’s lead...
Mark Horvath has set out to end homelessnes by shouting real loud, online and offline, about the crisis of homelessness in this country. The conversations he generates are giving voice to homeless men and women, and are bringing new advocates and activists on board — shouting real loud, right by his side.
Just like Mark, the @home project uses every tool we can get our hands on to put homelessness on the front burner, city by city.
@home: the documentary
Half of the $100,000 we raise in this campaign will help us finish the @home documentary, currently in post-production.
This film tells the remarkable story of Mark Horvath’s fierce commitment to making the homeless visible. We follow him on a cross-country crusade as he gives scores of homeless people a face and a voice: a mother living out of a motel room with her five children, a young man suffering from depression who found community in a tent city, and the men living in the storm drains of Las Vegas.
Mark has experienced the highs and lows of the American dream — from a successful career in television to barely surviving, homeless and addicted, on Hollywood Boulevard. Today, Mark is the new media voice of his cause, recording hundreds of video stories from homeless people around the country and sharing them online. His videos have gotten millions of hits on YouTube, with the help of his followers — 15,000 on Twitter, 10,000 on Facebook, and thousands on his blog and other platforms. And he’s gotten tangible results; thanks to Mark’s work, people have been housed, and communities have rallied together.
@home: the game
The rest of our funding will go toward developing the @home smartphone “game for good.”
Played as a group in a public space, the @home game explores homelessness — its causes, challenges, and solutions.
The main goal of the game is to educate and activate players to physically contribute to reducing homelessness in their local communities — from clicktavism toward real-world activism. And we’re confident in the impact this game could have; 70 percent of all Americans 18-35 play video games, and they’re a great way to test solutions to complex problems.
Players will move through location-based puzzles and activities around a neighborhood in their city to learn about homelessness. At all stages, players will share content, information, and impressions with their social networks, using the hashtag #athome. And as they go, players collect “points” towards home move-in kits for the homeless people in their communities, creating real change and “wins” where they live.
From online to offline change
The @home film is currently in post-production, and will be finished in May 2013. This spring, @home is participating in the POV Hackathon, sponsored by PBS, where we will build the front-end user experience for the @home smartphone game. We hope to finish the @home game by fall 2013.
We will launch the full @home campaign — online and offline — city by city in spring 2014, beginning in Chicago. The campaign will spend 10 days in each location, saturating the city with screenings, media, events, and discussions, culminating with a mass game-play event in the city center.
Got questions? We've got answers:
Work for a company or organization with a strong CSR program?
As we roll out the @home campaign, we'll be recruiting volunteers and looking for corporate sponsorship to promote events. So let's talk! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I note this donation on my taxes?
Absolutely! The Kindling Group is a Chicago based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions made to the @home campaign will be payable to The Kindling Group and are tax deductible minus the value of any goods or services received, as permitted by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level.
What if my company matches donations? Can you receive the matching funds?
We would love to explore corporate matching — contact us at email@example.com for more information.
How can you be reached?
If you have any further questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-728-8489.