I first met Mark Horvath on Twitter and later face-to-face last December during a trip down the California coast during the holidays. Mark is a free agent championing the cause of homelessness.
A free agent is a person (many times a GenY, but not always) who is a passionate about a social cause, but is working outside of a nonprofit organization to organize, mobilize, raise money, and engage with others. Free agents are also fluent in social media and take advantage of the social media toolset to do everything organizations have always done, but outside of institutional walls. Some times they go on to form their own nonprofits like Amanda Rose and Manny Hernandez.
Last March, I helped Mark, along with colleague Geoff Livingston at SXSW compete for the top prize in the Pespi Refresh. He won the competition and the prize money was use to build the WeAreVisble Site. Mark founded InvisiblePeople.tv, a nationally-recognized nonprofit that fights homelessness using the power of social media. His new project is a social media literacy website to help homeless people learn how to use the Internet to tell their stories, build community and connect with support services.
The content is fantastic — particularly the tutorials. Help him spread the word to homeless service agencies, libraries, and other social service agencies. Nonprofits need to find and connect with free agents because they are powerful social change players. If you work with a homeless services agency, library, or other social service agency that provides services to this group, you need to connect to this work!