Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
On April 14th, 2014, we soft launched Homeless GoPro with a few short videos on our website. For Adam, our first homeless volunteer, the impact was immediate and profound: “the finances have increased a bit, but the humanity has increased a lot.” As Adam described it, "I feel like I have a purpose in life again. It's something I lost for a long time ... it’s made me want to better myself more." Adam’s story has reached millions and been featured in The San Francisco Chronicle, Forbes, NBC News, PRI, and many others. But more endurably, hundreds of young people and shelters have signed up to bring this project to their communities; longer form content is being developed for TV and web. For more in Adam’s own words: http://bit.ly/adamimpact.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Adam is one of many. Our nine homeless autobiographers (and counting) experience a renewed sense of purpose as contributors to society in a way that is not nurtured through the provision of services. Our production assistants gain perspective that the homeless are “not so different than me,” as Naoko put it (http://bit.ly/blognao). As empathy increases, so does volunteerism — Adam has seen a 267% increase in donations on his HandUp page, and volunteers like Bristy and Ty have committed to become advocates for the homeless after their 24-hour Immersion Experience. Our filming sessions and the transformative relationships that ensue help us uncover autobiographers’ invisible needs, thereby creating feedback loops for our partners on existent services. As such, one NYC-based housing expert said this project reflects “emerging best practices around homelessness.” More: http://bit.ly/HGimpact
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
We unite content and engagement to foster change. We will replicate this process for building empathy in cities that have a strong volunteer interest to start chapters. Our spread model: connect with local service providers to source homeless autobiographers, co-produce meaningful videos, distribute the content broadly, and create opportunities for engagement online, offline, and in schools (through educational curricula). We have formed a media + interaction company to develop longer-form content for TV and film. We will expand to other misunderstood verticals. We believe in empathy for all.