Desire Street Ministries was founded in pre-Katrina New Orleans in the Ninth Ward in 1990. Lead by executive director Danny Wuerffel (winner of the 1996 Heisman trophy), their passion to transform impoverished urban neighborhoods into thriving and sustainable communities has spread to Atlanta, Ga., Dallas, Tx., Lakeland, Fl., and Montgomery, Al. by partnering with local ministries.
Urban children face remarkable challenges. But as Desire Street worked with local ministries they saw that urban ministry leaders walk amidst some of the toughest challenges in the United States today: concentrated poverty, failing schools, unsafe streets, deteriorated housing, high unemployment, inadequate health care. Urban leaders were virtually unsupported. Research shows that half of urban ministers will burn out within five years. Desire Street Ministries’ goal is to help those in urban ministry not only survive, but thrive. The best investment for lasting change in the toughest places is equipping, encouraging and connecting leaders. One investment in the life of a leader yields exponential rewards in the lives of hundreds of urban children and their neighborhoods.
Our solution was to develop a print and web campaign around a central concept: Transforming Neighborhoods Two Steps at a Time. While some might say that the way to tackle a tough problem is one step at a time, Desire Street has the experience to know that the key to real change for impoverished neighborhoods is relationships. Long-term revitalization requires a “two steps at a time” approach – leaders walking side-by-side, working together toward solutions. This concept focused on Desire Street’s expertise and how the ministry is sharing its experience through encouraging, equipping, and connecting grassroots leaders. The visual and graphic style followed Desire Street’s strong urban graphic identity. The primary image was a silhouette of two men engaging each other and walking together in an urban setting. The content reinforced the motivating goal behind Desire Street’s ministry: The beauty of God’s renovating, restoring work in ministry leaders, in neighborhoods, in families, and in the hearts of individuals throughout the urban communities where Desire Street partners.