Homelessness Happns
Educating people on how close to home homelessness really is.
  • Strategy
  • Concept
  • Film
  • Digital
  • Social
  • PR

We’re so used to seeing just a few people sleeping on the street that we’ve convinced ourselves the problem’s not so bad. But the fact is, they are 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.

This insight led to a technology based solution. We turned to the dating app, Happn, (a Tinder competitor that matched 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 campaign inspired an audience outside of homelessness’ typical channels. The result was a massive spike in web traffic to The Council to Homeless Persons, academia spurred toward projects examining homelessness, press and media attention (including Buzzfeed, ABC News, Vogue, major TV outlets) delivered the message zero media budget, 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.


'What is Homelessness Happns?'