This research was part of an Adobe-sponsored "CivicBridge" pro bono project, facilitated by San Francisco's Office of Civic Innovation. Our team was paired up with San Francisco's Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, and we completed a 4-part project in which we re-designed and re-built the department's website, created a video to explain the department's mission, crafted a communications plan for the department, and performed research to inform the department's strategic direction. By communicating more clearly with the public, the department hopes to incite community-based hope, engagement, contributions, and volunteerism towards the homelessness crisis.
Within the research program specifically, we sought to better understand San Francisco residents’ perspectives on homelessness, including but not limited to: sources of information, emotional reactions, motivations, beliefs, desires, and expectations. These findings were correlated with demographic information (e.g age, race, home ownership, neighborhood, gender, political affiliation, etc) to formulate personas, or sample profiles that are representative of a segment of the population. In addition to the personas, the research report also included findings on emotional responses to homelessness, perspectives on homelessness by political affiliation, perspectives on homelessness by income level, perspectives on homelessness by employment, national + local news sources and their associated levels of trust, sources of information on homelessness, interest in further information on homelessness, the influence of personal experiences with homelessness, the influence of personal experiences with people experiencing homelessness, perceived causes of homelessness, perceived potential solutions to homelessness, perspectives on current solutions to homelessness, and perceived responsibility for addressing homelessness in San Francisco.
This research is being used to by San Francisco’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing for persona-based communication, engagement, strategy, and goal-setting. I have been honored to present this research to the San Francisco Mayor's Office, as well as nearly 30 different City and County of San Francisco departments, where it is being used to inform, scope, inspire and direct various other programs throughout the city.