We created a special campaign to educate L.A. County about the people and services that are at work to end homelessness. We aimed to reinforce the value of services, permanent housing, and short-term housing solutions by showing real stories of where programs and investment have changed the lives of people experiencing homelessness. This campaign was about humanizing the people in and around our homelessness crisis, and changing the narrative around what’s being done to end it through facts.
Research has shown that when people understand that (a) we know how to end homelessness, and (b) we are making progress towards those goals, their willingness to participate in and advocate for proven solutions increases.
In particular, we aimed to highlight the impact of Measure H, a historic funding measure for affordable housing that was passed two years ago by L.A. County voters.
During March and April 2020, we launched creative that invited users into a conversation about what is being done to end homelessness in L.A. County.
In order to reach a broad audience throughout L.A. County, we launched an out-of-home advertising campaign consisting of billboards, posters, train wraps, bus tails, and radio spots. In addition, we created a multimedia digital campaign of videos, advertisements, social posts, landing pages, and a comprehensive peer-to-peer texting program.
All media was centered around the question, “What is L.A. County doing to end homelessness?” and directed people to text designated phone numbers in order to learn more. All advertisements were posted in both English and Spanish.
Texting in to the provided number activated a peer-to-peer text messaging program run by Everyone In organizers who were available to answer questions, direct people to resources, and send out a bi-weekly program of videos highlighting the organizations and specific outreach work happening across the eight service provider regions of L.A. County.
To accompany the bi-weekly videos, created using live interviews we conducted with outreach workers out in the field, we launched a series of social media and blog posts about their work, an FAQ landing page on our website, and a set of K-12 educational materials.
Among our key takeaways was the power of stories as vehicles for sharing data. It’s one thing to tell somebody a statistic. It’s another thing to introduce them to a person that can verify it. This campaign represented a coalescence of our campaign tenants: humanizing the people in and around our homelessness crisis, and changing the narrative around what’s being done to end it through facts.
Our campaign generated an incredible amount of positive engagement from people who were eager to learn more about the work being done to end homelessness, the barriers faced by outreach workers, and how they can personally get involved in the work.
We were able to create region-specific resource lists that we continue to share and highlight the primary service providers in each region as well as the progress (units of housing, number of individuals reached, etc.) happening in those regions.
This campaign was launched right before a state of emergency was declared in California—we were able to shift our program and resources online to accommodate these unexpected changes, creating a self-guided educational program for people interested in becoming advocates for their neighbors experiencing homelessness.
Among the key performance indicators of this campaign during the months of March and April:
178,134 link clicks and over 51 million total impressions from our digital program
13,086 new social media followers across all platforms
For our out-of-home advertising program, we had over 63 million impressions from posters and billboards, 22 million for wild postings, and 16 million for bus tails and posters
2,544 new contacts generated by our peer-to-peer texting program