Downtown Streets Team is a non-profit focused on ending homelessness by restoring the dignity and rebuilding the lives of unhoused men and women.

 

The organization provides temporary job opportunities and training for unhoused and unemployed residents of the Bay Area. Beyond the short-term, their team of case workers help participants establish themselves in longterm housing and careers.

When Downtown Streets Team launched their program in San Francisco, they promised City Hall they'd make a splash within the first couple months of their launch. To do so, they came up with an idea for a public awareness campaign called "Just Say Hi". The campaign aimed to humanize San Francisco's homeless population by creating a simple approach to relationship building with those on the margins. I was brought on to produce, direct, and shoot the campaign video. The video was ultimately picked up by Upworthy, racking up over 140,000 views on Facebook. 

THE PROJECT

STORYTELLING APPROACH  

Before starting our shooting, our crew decided to attend two Streets Team meetings to get a better understanding of their program and to build relationships with their participants prior to conducting interviews. We made the creative decision to use voice over interview for the video's narration, so instead of conducting video interviews where the anxiety of subjects is often heightened, we decided to record our interviews using audio recording equipment and regular human conversation.  

©2020 Brenton Gieser