This Friday, our partners at SU’s Project to End Family Homelessness are hosting the Seattle premiere of @homea documentary that explores the intersections of social media and social justice. The film follows e-activist Mark Horvath as he collects stories of people experiencing homelessness around the nation and fights “to help move the needle on homelessness in America.” To learn more about the film and about Mark’s work, check out the amazing blog post below, written for Fireseteel, by SU communications student, Haley Jo Lewis. And don’t forget to come see this incredibly moving film and meet Mark Horvath in person on Friday May 2nd, at 7:00pm, at Impact Hub in Pioneer Square. Click here for more information about the film screening and about the Hack to End Homelessness event this weekend.

The many faces of Mark Horvath and his good friend, social media, as shown in the new film “@home.” Original art by Haley Jo Lewis.

Written by Haley Jo Lewis, Seattle University communications major and project assistant, Seattle University’s Project on Family Homelessness

If you had three wishes, what would they be?

Would you even think to wish for a home? Maybe a bigger one, perhaps, if you already have one.

While interviewing people who are homeless, social media pioneer and homelessness advocate Mark Horvath always ends his conversations with a question: “If you had three wishes, what would they be?”

In the new documentary about him, “@home,” the people Mark interviews, without fail, wish for a home. 

Mark Horvath conducting an interview with a man who is living in the tunnels under Las Vegas. Image from “@home.”

A former television executive, Mark Horvath – also known as “@hardlynormal” – knows what it feels like to wish for a home; he experienced homelessness himself, twice. At one low point, he scraped together money by posing with his pet iguana for tourist photos.

In late 2008 Mark created the popular website InvisiblePeople.TV, which uses social media to share video stories of people all over America who are experiencing homelessness.

A few years ago, Mark embarked on a cross-country road trip to further document these stories, and director Susanne Suffredin followed him. Susanne is an accomplished documentary filmmaker who has worked on films like the Academy Award nominee “Hoop Dreams.” Upon meeting Mark, “I was struck by the passion and crazy energy of this guy and his crazy plan,” Susanne says. “He was going to end homelessness in this country and maybe even around the world. And he was going to do it using social media and YouTube.”

Susanne spent three years with Mark, creating the beautiful new film “@home,” a feature-length documentary that captures that crazy energy and passion of Mark’s determination to end homelessness. You can see it in Seattle May 2.

It’s an emotionally moving experience, to say the least. Watching “@home,” I was flooded with emotions. Seeing these people struggle on our doorsteps, and hearing them get the rare opportunity to tell their own stories…I itched for a change in the way we help people who are homeless.

Read more of Haley Jo’s post at our partner Firesteel’s blog.