The Louisville homeless crisis impacts everyone, from the individuals taking shelter under overpasses to the business person navigating downtown streets. At St. John’s Center for Homeless Men, when guests were asked to give their last permanent address, 34 of the 36 total standard zip codes Jefferson County were represented, proving that the homeless are truly our neighbors. A new video produced by Hatfield Media for St. John’s tells the story of one man’s journey toward a better life.
Client: St. John Center for Homeless Men
FINDING HOPE & MOVING FORWARD
The St. John Center for Homeless Men provides shelter, social services, and supportive housing for homeless men in the Louisville area. Founded in 1986, the organization’s mission has always been to help homeless men become self-sufficient and find housing.
Powered by more than 150 volunteers, the center serves homeless men who battle a multitude of issues that led to a life on the streets: mental illness, chronic health issues, drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment, and poverty. The center operates out of a former Catholic church located in downtown Louisville that once served as a haven for immigrants following Bloody Monday. The legacy of this sanctuary lives on today as St. John’s provides a safe place for those who have no home to go to.
STORIES THAT MAKE AN IMPACT
One of the center’s clients, Charles “Boonie” Tharp, had been living on the streets of Louisville on-and-off for the last twenty years, battling an addiction to alcohol and recurring suicidal thoughts.
“I didn’t care to live,” Tharp said of his lowest point. “I was too scared to die.”
Tharp’s struggle with alcoholism had sent all areas of his life in a downward spiral, from his physical health to his financial situation, to his relationships. His family ties were strained, and he had not talked with his mother for years before he turned to St. John’s for help.
Today, Tharp lives in his own apartment, is sober, and has reconnected with his mother.
“I can’t thank St. John’s enough for allowing me to partake in their program,” he said. “If it wasn’t for St. John’s, I wouldn’t be alive today.”
St. John’s approached Hatfield Media with a desire to create a video centered on Tharp’s powerful transformation story. Hatfield Media’s video production team wanted to present Tharp’s story in the context of his environment, shooting on location around downtown Louisville and inside the center. Our team sought to tell this Tharp’s story as authentically as possible without compromising his privacy.
“We asked tough questions to get the raw, truthful story,” said Isaac Harrison, Video Producer at Hatfield Media. “But, we also made sure everyone was comfortable and shared only what they wanted to share.”
MORE THAN A JOB
Our team thoroughly enjoyed working with the staff and volunteers at St. John’s. It was a pleasure working with a team that was instructive, helpful and allowed us our creative freedom.
“Hatfield Media's creative team impressed me from the moment we met,” said Maria Price, Executive Director. “[The team] was so professional and respectful of our client, so I knew I liked them right away.”
It’s easy to get behind a project when everyone involved is genuinely passionate about the work they’re doing; that’s why Hatfield Media values the opportunity to work with organizations like St. John’s.
“The impact this video will make is so rewarding,” said Harrison. “When I get to work on projects like this, it’s so much more than just doing a job.”
“While spending time in the shelter, it was clear that they wanted to capture the essence of our mission. Not just the tasks, but also the spirit from which we work,” said Price. “We are thrilled not only with the final product but the process as well. It was a pleasure.”
DOING GOOD FOR OUR CITY
Thanks to St. John’s, 193 men moved from homelessness to housing in the last fiscal year. The video “Charles Story” premiered at the center’s annual fundraising dinner in March of 2019.
Hatfield Media was honored to tell Boonie’s story. We cherish the relationship we’ve built with the team at St. John’s, and we commend the good work they continue to do for our city.
“Working with [the Hatfield Media video team] was the best experience,” said Jenn Young, Director of Marketing and Communications at St. John Center for Homeless Men. “They made our client feel so comfortable and at ease during the interview process, and they were willing to work with our schedule. The video really showcased our mission, and inspired guests who attended our fundraising event in early March to give to support our mission.”
WATCH THE VIDEO
Powerful VIDEO PRODUCTION
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