Showing how close to home homelessness really is.
In Australian cities and towns, homelessness has become commonplace. "On any given day, about 105,000 Australians are homeless. And almost half of those are under the age of 25." – Australian Bureau of Statistics.
We’re so used to seeing people sleeping on the street that we’ve convinced ourselves the problem’s not so bad. But the fact is, they're just the tip of the iceberg. The vast majority of people experiencing homelessness walk among us during the day, but are forced to return to rooming houses, shelters, a car or a friend's floor at night.
We used the dating app, Happn, (Tinder's competition that matches users with people they ‘cross paths’ with) to tell real stories of homelessness, geolocated to where they had actually happened. We made Happn profiles for a team of spokespeople who had experienced homelessness first-hand, and, over the course of a fortnight, users of Happn in Melbourne who ‘crossed paths’ with the spokespeople were confronted with just how close to home homelessness actually is.
The Council to Homeless Persons was able to engage in a meaningful and unique way with an audience outside of its typical channels. The result was a massive spike in web traffic, academia spurred toward projects examining homelessness, press and media attention (including Buzzfeed, ABC News, Vogue, major TV outlets), and, crucially, government action on the issue – including dialogue with the Senate regarding the campaign, and a promise to turn a spotlight on this hidden issue.