Underheard in New York

Category: Goodworks – Non Profit
Brand/Client: Underheard in New York/NYC Rescue Mission
Lead Agency: BBH New York

Strategic Challenge

"When you see a homeless person on the street, you stay away from them… because of the way he looks, the way he talks."Albert, Homeless Man in NYC

Between January 2009 and January 2010, the number of unsheltered individuals in New York City rose an estimated 34%. The total number of homeless men and women in New York City was roughly 100,000.1

New Yorkers know about homelessness; it is practically impossible to ignore. It's in front of your doorstep, on your way to work and on your way home. We see the issue daily, but we are numbed to its presence. Familiarity has bred a lack of shock, empathy and caring.

Think about the last few times you saw a homeless person. What did you do? How did you feel? You probably ignored them. Many of us also believe that ultimately the homeless have themselves to blame, and most have suspicions that the homeless are most likely incapable, irresponsible, even dangerous.