In 2008, we joined forces with the local government, businesses, faith groups, and others working together as the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness to establish the identity and branding for the End in Ten initiative.
The goal of An End in Ten — to end homelessness in Middlesex County within ten years — seemed a daunting task at best, and unattainable at worst. But we weren’t discouraged. We knew we weren’t the only ones committed to doing the best job we could for the task at hand. We created the full identity for the program, beginning with naming the program and including brand identity, logo & tagline, complete stationery suite and website.
The program was working so well that in 2015 the service area was broadened to include the towns of Meriden and Wallingford. As housing units were being built, resources and services were being streamlined for easier access, and outreach helped educate communities, having a cohesive brand image helped facilitate understanding of the program and all its facets. By being involved with the project from its inception, the entire lifespan of the initiative had a strong, consistent look.
And then, in 2016, Connecticut became the first state in the country to house all homeless veterans and match 100% of chronically homeless individuals with affordable housing. The goal was attainable after all! What a reason to have to retire a design.
Left to right: The Honorable Christopher Murphy, U.S. Senator, featured speaker, presenting at the Coalition’s 2018 annual meeting; Ann Faust, Executive Director, Coalition on Housing and Homelessness; with Noemi Kearns, Principal & Creative Director, Ink&Pixel Agency
Left to right: Noemi with Patti Vassia, Development Consultant and Nonprofit Professional for Middlesex County; Sue Murphy, Chair, Communications and Advocacy Committee, Coalition on Housing and Homelessness, giving her featured presentation; and featured speaker, the Honorable Evonne M. Klein, the first Commissioner of the newly created Connecticut Department of Housing.
The next phase for the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness is Grow Strong CT. There will always be people who are at risk of losing their housing, especially in a state with dramatic income inequality like Connecticut. While End in Ten was deemed a success, there is still work to be done, from changing legislation to building more safe, affordable housing to having well-informed communities. Our logo for Grow Strong CT features a house growing a vibrant roots, which is what the program aims to provide to its constituents. The roots also look like abstracted lungs — breathing new life into our communities — or an inverted heart, which symbolizes the classic idiom, “Home is where the heart is.”
We designed new versions of all the elements we had developed for An End in Ten, including a new website, growstrongct.org. We are pleased to announce that our work for their identity won an Excellence Award at the 2018 Connecticut Art Directors Club awards show.
The current goal is to end family and teen homelessness by 2020. We are proud to be part of this vitally important work, and to be collaborating with other people who are passionate about their work. Making a difference in people’s lives isn’t always easy, but when we all contribute our strengths, we can have a lasting impact. Big dreams… that’s what this is all about, folks.