The opioid crisis in this country has officially been declared a “national emergency,” and one of the hardest hit areas is Massachusetts. Located at the epicenter of the state’s raging opioid problem – on a stretch of Mass Ave in Boston’s south end that residents have deemed “methadone mile” – is an organization called Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program (BHCHP). Among many other things, BHCHP is dedicated to fighting this problem despite the overwhelmingly negative stigma that surrounds addiction.
In an ongoing effort to shift community perception and humanize the people affected by this issue, we partnered with BHCHP on National Overdose Awareness Day to share the stories of those who lost their lives to addiction and the alarming statistics behind the epidemic.
For blocks in Boston's south end, we took quotes and stories sent in from families of overdose victims and covered the sidewalks with them, driving people to our website.
In addition to the sidewalk chalk, the stories written by family and friends were displayed with larger-than-life light projections. The organization received dozens of pictures and quotes from lost loved ones. Using a 5x5 grid system, each projection was unique to the person being displayed, and no one template or pattern was duplicated.
The light projections caught the attention of pedestrians and caused them to really stop and feel the impact of this issue in their neighborhood, all while humanizing the victims.
Powerful statistics were designed to be used with the projections and also for the website.
A responsive website was designed to further educate people on the impact and severity of the issue, and to let them know how to get involved.