Home For Good

In 2007, WHPR was retained by Skid Row Housing Trust with two primary objectives at hand: To improve the Trust’s overall communications programs in order to elevate the organizations’ profile and to work with the Trust to “change the conversation” about homelessness in Los Angeles.

WHPR’s communications programs and awareness campaign for the Trust resulted in an improved website, a sharper newsletter and strategic news media placement, including this NY Times story.

The second objective, changing Los Angeles’ conversation on homelessness took more time.


Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the United States and its core homeless population had remained constant for at least a decade. While the Trust and others working with L.A.’s homeless had long argued that the city’s approach was not working, their voices – while respected – did not generate a shift in policy. WHPR suggested that the Trust reach beyond the social service and academic/policy community to the business community and smoothed the path for a Trust membership in the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

That membership, in turn, led to the creation of a forum on homelessness hosted by the Chamber and United Way LA in which the Trust was a prominent participant. The result of the forum was a joint Chamber / United Way initiative, the creation of the Los Angeles Business Leaders Task Force on Homelessness (the first such effort from the business community in the city’s history). This effort was named “Home For Good”.

WHPR Partner (and Chamber member) David Hamlin was asked by the Chamber staff to join the Task Force. He was also asked to Chair the Task Force’s Communications Committee and, in that capacity, he undertook the creation of a complete communications campaign in support of the Task Force’s recommendations. The campaign included:

  • fresh framing of the issues
  • managing all Task Force communications initiatives (website, the drafting of an action plan/report, supportive materials)
  • an intricate, tactical media plan which required the coordination of several spokespersons, a support team composed of Chamber and United Way staff and the United Way’s PR agency
  • speaker coaching
  • drafting of all media materials
    The Home For Good campaign, launched in November, 2010, has in fact changed the conversation about how L.A. thinks about and deals with its homeless policies. The campaign also placed the Task Force at the forefront of the debate and led to a series of coordinated efforts that will reshape homeless policy, practices and government fund allocations in Los Angeles.

    WHPR Partner David Hamlin placed these two stories about the Homeless Task Force:
    “Plan to House Homeless Vets and Chronically Homeless Gains Wide Support”
    “Los Angeles Confronts Homelessness Reputation”

    For more Home For Good coverage, as well as sample news releases from the campaign, visit their website.