A new promotional video from the John Howard Society (JHS) doesn’t mince words explaining the accomplishments of its namesake and how his work continues to inform theirs today.
The three-minute video features staff of the society’s Okanagan-Kootenay branch speaking about how the JHS still tries to fill in gaps John Howard identified years ago: humanizing marginalized people, particularly those involved in the justice system. The video, however, takes a different tone than you might expect.
Executive director Patricia Bacon said the goal of the video is to show people the branch’s personality.
“People in the community have heard of our name and they know some of the work we do, but I don’t know if we’ve really had a chance to showcase our culture and a bit of our personality and the approach we bring to our work,” she said.
“Even though we’ve been around for a long time, we just want people to remember that our work is still relevant; we’re creating social change.”
At the same time, Bacon said they wanted people to hear about the work they do to inspire them to help and donate.
“We wanted to show them that John Howard could be a prospective place they could donate to and contribute to our ongoing work, and also to encourage people to think of John Howard as a potential place to come and work,” she said.
John Howard Society Okanagan and Kootenay works with justice-involved people to reintegrate them into their communities and challenging the ways people think about others trying to work their way out of homelessness and poverty.
Some of the services the non-profit offers include housing and shelter services. They also have an outreach and inclusion program for those who need support but are not in the society’s housing system.
“How do you stabilize people in our community and how do you really help people get a leg up and have a better future? If you can’t house somebody, it’s really hard to address other things like getting a job or health and addiction issues,” she said.
“We need community members to support us through donations and goodwill and even coming to work with us… we are able to do the work we do because the community helps us do it.”