First United Church conducts homelessness campaign
First United Church of Vancouver has begun a campaign in that city intended to raise awareness of the needs of the homeless. The campaign, developed by DDB Canada, makes use of three sculptures depicting homeless people. Passers-by were encouraged to visit the Facebook profile of each statue to learn more about the life of the character depicted. Reactions of viewers were also recorded and incorporated into a video released on YouTube. "The real people represented by the body sculptures have asked, 'Do you see me? Do you know my name and my story? Do you care?'" said Ric Matthews, executive minister at First United. "Our purpose is very simple. Create an opportunity for building awareness that homelessness is more than an issue or a social circumstance. The familiar forms of homelessness too often hide the faces of real people. If we do not see the person, we do not understand homelessness. We merely see a social need, and we are tempted to respond at the same level, providing shelter, housing and support services. These are all needed and helpful. But they do not meet the real fundamental factor underlying homelessness."