The Road Home

Goodstock goes to work for homeless children and their families

It’ll happen tonight because it happens every night. Whole families will be turned away from homeless shelters that are too crowded to take them in. Luckily for many, The Road Home offers stable housing and support. KW2 asked how we could help.

It’s hard to fix a problem no one can see.

In the Madison area alone, there are nearly 1000 homeless families. And in 2013, at least 400 Dane County families (including 775 children) couldn’t find room in a community shelter. If those numbers are surprising, it’s because homeless families aren’t that easy to see.

When the shelters are full, homeless families seek out quiet, hidden places to protect their kids from judgment and harm. They sleep in cars and empty buildings; you don’t often encounter families living on the streets. And that presented a challenge for The Road Home Dane County. To help an ever-increasing number of homeless children and their families, the organization needed to drive support for a cause that very few of us are aware of.

KW2 had it’s mission: make an invisible problem visible in just 24 hours.

Creating a window into homelessness.

The Road Home needed a marketing plan that could make the most of their limited budget and an advertising campaign capable of bringing the realities of childhood and family homelessness into focus. Isolation, uncertainty, shuffling endlessly from place to place—these poignant truths would speak for themselves. But to increase donations, we’d have to do more than make an emotional connection to the cause. We’d need to build brand recognition. The Road Home’s name became the central idea of our television spot.

The clock was ticking. With Goodstock partner Nick Berard behind the lens and just a few hours of available light, our creative team searched out Madison’s hidden corners and abandoned spaces. Wisconsin’s dreary winter weather added a visible chill to each location.

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More donors and more donations.

With the help of generous partners, our Goodstock give included a strategic marketing plan, television spot, print ads and out-of-home creative for The Road Home, plus 450 minutes of free airtime and 4 free insertion in Madison’s biggest media outlets.

It all worked. Boosting The Road Home’s visibility increased donors and donations in the year that followed. Their donor pool grew by 35%—a 12% jump in new donors over the previous year—and individual contributions rose by $19,000 between 2014 and 2015.

More support equaled more children and families helped. That’s a good night’s work.