Project Summary

Larkin Street Youth Services is looking to hire a skilled Video Director to create a 15-20 minute, high-quality video documenting the positive strengths and attributes of young people experiencing homelessness and the systemic barriers they face in reaching their full potential. The project expected start date is immediately after the contract is signed, and the end date is no later than April 1, 2020. This is a Work for Hire project, and Larkin Street shall maintain copyright ownership. Interested applicants should submit a written proposal by November 30.

Agency Background

Since 1984, Larkin Street Youth Services has given more than 75,000 young people a safe place to rebuild their lives. We provide housing, education and employment training, and health and wellness support to help young people get off the street for good.


Tragically, surveys tell us that 1 in 10 young people across America ages 18 to 24 will experience some form of homelessness this year. That’s over 3 million youth experiencing homelessness, who are disproportionately Black, Brown, and/or LGBTQ+, during an already rocky time in our country – a global pandemic and social unrest.


In San Francisco, that translates into approximately 1,100 young people every night who are unable to shelter-in-place, keep physical distance, stock up on food, or even wash their hands. Fortunately, Larkin Street’s evidenced-based housing-first model works. Three out of four young people who complete our programs exit street life permanently.


Additional research shows that half of all chronically unhoused adults in San Francisco first experienced homelessness as a youth and that every dollar invested in Larkin Street saves the community eight dollars. The message is clear: the Larkin Street model saves lives locally and could be an effective strategy for other communities across the country working to end homelessness.

Project Purpose & Objectives

The desired production is to be the featured content of a spring online event designed to raise funding and awareness for the importance of Larkin Street’s work. We desire a high-quality documentary that may also incorporate some short narrative storytelling elements, graphics or animation, and/or music to engage audiences effectively. In addition to the final 15-20 minute documentary, project deliverables would include a short trailer and video excerpts, photographs, and text stories for promotional purposes.


Our key project objectives include:

  • Create a campaign device for private fundraising (including advance sponsorships) and to inspire post-screening giving.
  • Center the voices and lived experiences of the young people, particularly BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identified, served by Larkin Street.
  • Take a Positive Asset Framing approach by shaping a narrative that focuses on individual youth aspirations and contributions before exploring personal deficits.
  • Emphasize systemic issues as the true root causes of youth homelessness.
  • Emphasize the need for greater organizing and investments to ensure youth experiencing homelessness reach their full potential.
  • Position Larkin Street’s housing-first model as a proven best practice for other communities.

Documentary Audience

This video documentary’s primary market is Larkin Street’s donor base, which skews toward older adults. However, the production must also play well with the youth we serve. Potential secondary ancillary markets may include festival or educational markets, as well as streaming media platforms.

Responsibilities & Deliverables

Video Director


  • Submit of detailed production timeline, including shooting schedule.
  • Submit of a preliminary storyline idea(s) for review.
  • Workshop and flesh out storyline with approx. 3-5 youth participants.
  • Submission of a final storyline for approval. (January 1)


  • Submit draft scripts or narrations for inputs.
  • Submit of interview questions for inputs and approval.
  • Capture video footage, source needed music and audio, and create any required production infographics or animation.
  • Submitting the final scripts and narrations for approval. (February 1)
  • Submit a variety of high-resolution photographs documenting the production and highlighted interview text for promotional use. (March 1)
  • A first rough cut of the documentary for comments and incorporating feedback. (March 1)


  • Responsible for all editing, narration, color correction other aspects of post-production.
  • Submit edited trailer of no longer than 1-2 minutes in length, and at least 3 short 15-30 second clips and highlighted text from interviews for promotional purposes. (March 1)
  • Submit a completed 15-20 minutes of high-quality documentary with engaging use of graphics, animations, and music. (April 1)
  • Be available for up for an estimated 5-10 hours post-production publicity, as needed.

Larkin Street Youth Services

  • Financial underwriting.
  • Selection of Video Director.
  • Identify and coach youth participants.
  • Payment of youth project stipends.
  • Coordinate with agency staff for field visits to set appointments, identify content, capture needed footage, etc.
  • Provide any needed agency reference materials or related resources on youth homelessness.
  • Provide feedback when necessary and approve all deliverables.
  • Responsible for eventual screening, marketing, and distribution.

Minimum Contractor Requirements

The qualifications of the ideal contractor includes:

  • Experienced Video Director (5 years minimum) with strong technical skills.
  • Excellent scriptwriting and storytelling ability.
  • Capacity to successfully manage projects on deadline.
  • Demonstrated cultural humility and/or experience to work directly with youth (primarily BIPOC and LGBTQ+ identified) experiencing homelessness.
  • Successful past collaborations with other nonprofits.
  • Understanding of current independent video distribution and marketing strategies.
  • Working knowledge of the San Francisco Bay Area community and history.

Payment Schedule

Contractor shall be paid according to the schedule detailed below:


Payment ScheduleDeliverablesPayment
1st InstallmentUpon submission of pre-production deliverables.30%
2nd InstallmentUpon approval of final scripts and interview questions.20%
3rd InstallmentUpon submission of the first rough cut of full documentary, field photography, and highlighted interview text.20%
4th InstallmentAfter submission of all remaining deliverables.30%

Process for Application

The proposal from interested parties should include:

  • Cover letter expressing interest in the assignment.
  • A 3-5 page written proposal summarizing the applicant’s creative approach to this project, production timeline, lead person, and team experience with summarized resumes.
  • Link to an online portfolio or sample reel highlighting projects of a similar scale or scope, along with a 1-page summary of recent projects.
  • A 1-page budget summary indicating desired project rate. $1,000 – $3,000/minute
  • Contact information for 3 professional references.

Deadline and Submission Instructions

Do not hesitate to contact us in advance if you have any remaining questions. All interested applicants should submit written proposals no later than November 30, 2020, to [email protected].