Running a champaign is an emotional roller coster rode by multiple people. My group was given Philadelphia Housing Infrastructure. The first step we took was acknowledging the problem. The group who first presented this obstacle proposed that there were two many abandon houses in Philadelphia, around 40,500 estimated. We decided we could take this a step further then that. Philadelphia has about 4,000 homeless people. These numbers, to us, made no sense. We noticed we had an abundance of vacant houses and thousands of people who were in need of homes, so we put the two together. We figured Philadelphia could simply solve our abandoned house problem by filling them with people who need homes, sounded so easy.
Well, the first thing we discussed was how we were just going to go about giving random people homes. We know that many people struggle with difficulties and are actually trying to advance in life. However, we are also aware of people who would take advantage of this initiative, so we decided to create a binding contract. People would be assigned homes which are vacant and would be expected to care for them to the best of their ability. That means picking up trash around it and also cleaning it out on their own. This would not only give homeless people motivation to have something they owned but also slowly decrease the amount of liter in Philadelphia. Once they showed care for a home over a certain time period we planned on the government helping to fund construction of the homes. That was until we sent a letter to the mayors office and got no response.
This is when we knew what we wanted from the general public. The point of our champaign was to try to get people to donate funds and materials to our initiative. We created posters which we posted around the center city area which lead people back to our website. The point of the posters were to grab people’s attention and promote our champaign at the same time. We also set up a QR code so viewers with smart phones could be lead directly to our website and social networking sites. So our champaign consist of 6 components:
-Letter to the Mayor’s office
For a group of 17 year olds I think we did pretty well trying to publicly push an initiative we built from the ground up. However, our champaign was not a cake walk. We had many grand ideas which we completely dropped when it was time to implicate them. For instance, we wanted to promote our champaign through a physical sculpture. This sculpture consisted of four nice bird houses and one broken down bird house. We were planing on writing “even birds wouldn't live here” on the sculpture and placing a simple QR code to our website. This,we thought, would grab people’s attention because it was odd and mysterious. However, our designated birdhouse hunter Tsion, found it very hard to find bird houses for sale in the city. She went to multiple art stores and was left empty handed. We could have ordered them off line, but it was unknown when we would receive them, so we trashed the idea. Ideas which we could not implicate in real life left us with more lessons learned rather then disappointment. When everything was said and done, we realized ideas blossomed when they were thought of outside of the box but we had to watch our physical limitations. Running a champaign is an emotional roller coster rode by multiple people, one of which my group and I rode happily, successfully, and learned many lessons from.