I really don't know where to begin with this story so I'll start at the beginning. Although this interview is taped in Dayton, Nevada, I first met Kerry and his family months ago on Twitter. Kerry uses the handle @alleycat22469 , his wife Sabrina is @bully_lover78 and their 13-year-old son is @keifer1122.
As I think about this family I get emotional. I cannot imagine raising a child in a small RV with no bathroom or running water. This family's life is far from easy, but together they keep fighting, and together they stay grateful for the little things.
Kerry has become the biggest evangelist for the We Are Visible community. He even collected cans to pay for printing costs to distribute flyers at a local homeless-connect day. Not sure any church or homeless services organization has done that.
Kerry is always thanking people on Twitter and keeps engaging new homeless people who join the community. I am grateful for Kerry because he's championed We Are Visible into so much more than what I ever imagined.
When I started We Are Visible I envisioned homeless services helping homeless people via social media. But something far better has happened. Homeless people are encouraging and helping other homeless people.
What I also never imagined was a 13-year-old homeless boy connecting with me on social media. Keifer uses his Sony PSP to get on Facebook. He leaves me little notes because he does not have a keyboard to type on. Often just a "hi" or "huz" he'll leave on my wall. Completely wrecks me every time. It's because of this young boy that I have a new vision for We Are Visible that I made public at 140 Conference in Los Angeles.
One night Sabrina tweeted me that Keifer took my Facebook profile photo and replaced Tony Hawk on this video game. It was at that moment I knew I had to visit this family, so this last week I flew into Reno and drove to where their RV is parked.
I took the family out to eat. This was the first time the family has been out to eat in over two years. We went to Keifer's favorite restaurant. It was a wonderful night. You can see some photos here:
I have to say that I fell in love with this family. I've worked with homeless families for years, and although each and every family I want off the streets, I have never felt such passion, or felt so powerless, in wanting Kerry, Sabrina and Keifer to have a better life.
If you know of anyone in or near Carson City, Nevada, that can help Kerry find a job please contact them. He wants to work. They will hopefully have housing soon, but the battle is far from over.
This family has taught me lots. All Keifer wanted when I visited was a bag of fortune cookies for a class project. I spent a few hours with them and helped them get outside of their crisis for only a moment. I so wish I could do more.
And to be really honest I am flattered that Keifer replaced Tony Hawk with my ugly mug, but Tony Hawk is way more awesome than I'll ever be. Wouldn't it be great if Tony Hawk went to visit Keifer? I think so, and I'm sure Keifer will put Tony's photo back. The media attention alone with hopefully get the local community to help this family. Call me a dreamer but stranger things have happened. Why not tweet Tony Hawk a link to this story.
I want the best for this family. They are amazing, and although I spent only a few hours with them, I think I left my heart in Dayton, Nevada.
Read this one tweet from 13-year-old homeless boy on Twitter.
Follow Mark Horvath on Twitter: www.twitter.com/hardlynormal