Southern Exposure is a US-based volunteer-led, community development initiative which builds homes for
families in need in Juarez, Mexico. Program volunteers have built nearly 300 homes since 2000, but have
had their momentum severely crippled since 2008 by the extreme narco-violence plaguing the region.
Southern’s goal is to reignite the program.
Research & Strategy
Case Study: Juarez Home Build, Southern Exposure
-- Matthew Lanning, Southern Chairman
Aside the perception of danger, the two-fold challenge was 1)
reengaging the mainly Boomer volunteer corps and 2)
developing a new corps of volunteers to enliven the energy
around the initiative.
Volunteers are the program lifeblood – providing funding, labor
and most importantly word of mouth marketing – that at the
program onset was so critical to the effort’s success.
With violence ﬁnally beginning to curb, Southern conducted its
ﬁrst volunteer build in two years this past Spring. This group
included several new (and younger) members, who, following
the build, set up an online fundraiser, though Crowdrise and
accompanied by an integrated social media campaign.
The initiative generated the revenue for an additional home, and
just as importantly built awareness among the younger Gens Y
and X demographics. A spring 2013 build is already planned.
The cost of one family home is USD $5,150. The security the
home provides a family translates roughly into a 3:1 initial ‘ROI’
impact in the form of improved jobs, better education, a more
skilled workforce and a growing community.
It’s a true community building initiative.