The campaign is the first of 2013 to raise awareness for the New Orleans Mission, a gospel rescue mission in the city that operates entirely on private donations, and the nearly 6,700 homeless individuals in the city. By giving the homeless a metaphorical microphone to share their stories, the New Orleans Mission is working to dispel the shame often associated with people who have hit hard times and also give a voice to those deemed the “invisible”
Marked by a television campaign and the use of social media websites like Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube, the homeless of New Orleans are spreading messages of hope and love this Valentine's Day by writing open letters to the city. The letters, part of the “Sincerely, Homeless” campaign, give outsiders a unique perspective into the often-stereotyped lives of the community’s homeless people and challenge the perception many people have of those struggling to get back on their feet.
New Orleans, which has a rate of homelessness that ranks second only to New York, struggles to reduce the number of one out of every 53 citizens becoming homeless. Despite recent efforts by the city to improve the situation, homelessness continues to be a difficult issue that the New Orleans Mission is approaching from a different angle.
“Everyone hits a rough patch at some point in their lives,” said David Bottner, the executive director of the New Orleans Mission. “Our goal with this campaign is to change the public’s negative perception of the homeless, help people understand it’s okay if they are struggling to get back on their feet and to encourage them to seek the help we and so many others offer.”
The New Orleans Mission is a privately funded entity that relies on the donations of generous people and local grants to help support their various operations, services and programs. More information, including making donations, can be found at www.neworleansmission.org.
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About The New Orleans Mission
Founded in 1989, the New Orleans Mission has helped thousands of struggling individuals jumpstart their lives by temporarily providing clothing, food, shelter and job placement services, with all of the resources coming by generous private donations and grants. Located in the heart of downtown, the Mission is the largest and oldest private service provider for the homeless in the city.