Many people have talked about homelessness but few have actually talked to the homeless themselves. Fewer yet have seen them in their full humanity. And only one person has committed over a decade to chronicle their stories. Josh Hayes is that person with his seminal work The Invisible Class. He expertly weaves individual narratives of those on the streets with a breakdown of systemic causes of the homelessness crisis. He challenges both conservative and liberal orthodoxies on this topic. If you want to understand how homelessness in America has become a major humanitarian crisis in many urban cities in the country, including Los Angeles, this is a must-listen.

As the founder of Upstart Media Josh has worked in all aspects of media creation for nearly 15 years and specializes in all things video production. This includes filming, editing, directing, producing, podcast production, and more. Along the way he has worked with a broad list of clients ranging from technology companies (Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Facebook, YouTube), publishers (Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times), music acts (Moby, Cypress Hill, Santigold, Janelle Monae), sports organizations (Turner Sports, MTV Sports) and a large variety of small businesses and boutique brands.

Key Highlights:

[00:01 – 11:59] – Opening Segment
How Josh believes The Invisible Class can help shift the perception of homelessness in society
Advocates are there fighting for affordable housing and it’s not always accessible or affordable
Josh’s insights about student debt
Why it costs 9 times more to make affordable housing than simply pay for the units to be fixed

[12:00 – 21:48] The Homeless Community is Diverse
The reason why the private sector is not the main player in solving homelessness
How the cost of living in cities affects people who are homeless and low-income
There are other ways to address homelessness other than through criminalization
There are many different types of people who are homeless

[21:49- 33:54] – The Goal of Documentary Film is to Educate and Agitate
People should change their mindset and not just focus on the negative aspects
Why the Olympics can be a powerful tool to bring attention to the city’s problems with homelessness
The importance of being objective and real when making documentaries

[33:55 – 40:30] – It Can Be Difficult to Find Relevant Homeless Documentaries
Video is one of the most powerful tools to help people learn and understand complex topics
Why it is difficult for documentaries to be noticed
How much it costs to release a documentary on Netflix

[40:31 – 52:49] – The Importance of Acknowledging People’s Humanity
Josh shares his outlook on street medicine documentaries
How impact distribution can be helpful for films
How to engage with people who are homeless and how to help end homelessness
Josh’s experience in an interview with a social worker

[52:50 – 1:01:27] – Closing Segment
The more time you spend volunteering, the more opinions you will have about important issues
It’s important to find something that you’re comfortable with

Want to connect with Josh Hayes? Follow him on LinkedIn, and Twitter. Make sure to visit, the history of homelessness in America. We Foster Equality Through Video Production.


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Resources Mentioned:

The Invisible Class
Visual Anarchy

Tweetable Quotes:

Josh Hayes- “if I’m going to make this film, I want to make sure I have the right perspective.”

Josh Hayes – “The goal of a documentary is to be a megaphone for voices that we don’t get to hear often.”

Josh Hayes – “There’s something out there for everybody. So go out there and do some stuff. Find something that’s comfortable for you. You do that and you actually help. And I think that makes a big difference.”

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