The Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul Minneapolis is a facility owned and operated by Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The facility serves multiple functions, providing meals, mental health services, medical care and showers for those experiencing homelessness. In recent years the facility has become dilapidated and Catholic Charities declared a need for a new vision and long-term solution. The Dorothy Day Center had reached a breaking point.
In an effort to create a more dignified way to serve the community, Catholic Charities unveiled a two-phase plan that would cost as much as $65 million. They considered producing fundraising videos as a way to reach their financial goal, and eventually approached StoryTeller to produce one video for them. But rather than create a video similar to so many others that have been produced by many other non-profit organizations, Catholic Charities wanted to inspire a movement and charged StoryTeller with that responsibility.
“Our purpose for the video was to create a sense of experience, to put the viewer in the shoes of a homeless person,” says Mary Huss, Marketing and Communications Manager. “We hoped people would want to help and support Catholic Charities as we re-envision the future of the Dorothy Day Center.”
In response, StoryTeller created “A Place to Lay Your Head,” the story of Karl, a client of the Dorothy Day Center. StoryTeller contended that the most effective way to express the need was to show the condition of the Dorothy Day Center through the eyes of Karl and to hear him explain the conditions - both of the facilities and the life of someone experiencing homelessness
“The story was very simple, yet powerful,” explains Huss. “I felt confident that StoryTeller would tell the story in a powerful way, with respect and compassion.”
Not only has the story proved to be impactful, it has been viewed and shared thousands of times - a more far-reaching impact than traditional fundraising videos. Karl’s story also earned StoryTeller and Mary Huss a 2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award.
2014 Upper Midwest Regional Emmy® Award Winning Video Story | A Place to Lay Your Head
Inspiring action through first person account
- Mary Huss, Marketing and Communications Manager