JWU Students Create Campaign to Combat Homelessness in The State

Photo Provided by Patrick Lindner

The Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless (RICH) recently hosted their annual luncheon. According to their online overview, RICH “strives to highlight the issue of homelessness, increase public awareness, and heighten public involvement in order to solve the problem of homelessness in Rhode Island.”

This year’s 2017 luncheon was special because the campaign utilized was created by Johnson & Wales students. Every year RICH comes to one of JWU’s Integrated Marketing Communication classes in hopes that the students will come up with a unique marketing idea. The classes called upon this time were taught by Professors Oscar Chilabato and Christine Ure. The students had an opportunity to pitch RICH a bunch of marketing ideas.

Two of the students who were instrumental in creating the campaign were Jayson Braynen and Patrick Lindner. Lindner is close to the cause because he interned with RICH over this past summer. The campaign designed was called #BRINGUSHOME. The idea was to remind people that there is work left to be done, and reflect on the hard-work that has already been put in. The students used a video about a man named Luis Fred. His story is about being rehabilitated after being homeless. He exemplifies a success story as he now benefits from a paying job, and is a speaker trying to change the beliefs about homelessness.

Braynen commented on the initiative stating, “”The work non-profit organizations do in this state is no less difficult or meaningful than work that is done by commercial organizations. The “Bring Us Home” campaign for the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless and the people it has impacted is proof of that. The experience was unforgettable – I’m happy to have played a small part in a great cause that was worth celebrating earlier this month.”

According to Lindner, the Bring Us Home campaign was also striving to start a conversation on affordable housing. Lindner wanted to present the idea that homelessness is something that can be tackled through reasonable solutions. He was adamant on referring to the statistics that display how the Rhode Island Housing Authority, Amos House, Crossroads, and RICH have housed hundreds of people in the last few years. This includes many chronic homeless, veterans, women, children, and families.

Former preacher, Dee Dee Williams is a staff member at RICH. To learn more about RICH or the internships they offer, contact her or visit http://www.rihomeless.org/.


Hayley Mignacca

News and Sports Editor