Recently, we held a focus group inviting 15 volunteers from Twitter to talk about how to better engage the community with our work. We started the day with a tour of our space and then broke into small groups to dive into messaging and communications channels for reaching young professionals.

This was a valuable opportunity for us to get unbiased opinions on our communications and marketing strategies! Read on to learn what the volunteers took from the experience:


What made you volunteer with us?

Jennifer: I was excited to see Larkin Street as an option on #TwitterForGood day as I’d recently heard about their services during our tour of the Tenderloin. I was eager to learn more about the organization and how I could help further their mission.

Blair: I’ve worked with Larkin Street for a #TwitterForGood event in the past, and fell in love with their mission. As a queer employee at Twitter, it’s important for me to volunteer with an organization that gives back to the LGBTQ community. It’s tragic knowing how many LGBTQ teens are on the streets, and I love that Larkin Street is working to fight this. 


What did you most enjoy about the focus group?

Jennifer: I was impressed by the staff as we discussed potentially scalable solutions for targeting our peer group. I especially enjoyed learning more about the issue – 50% of homelessness begins before age 25 – as well as available resources, or lack thereof, and thinking through the issues using different lenses.

Blair: I enjoyed the opportunity to give our insights into what sticks with us as consumers on different social platforms. It was a fun way to understand how a marketing professional thinks about grabbing and engaging with an audience.


Do you have any advice for someone who is considering becoming a volunteer with us?

Jennifer: It is life changing to hear and remember that each person has a story of how they came to be homeless, and each of us can make a difference. Helping young people is key to ending the endemic causes of homelessness.

Blair: Get rid of any preconceived notions about homelessness. It’s important to realize most people are not homeless because of addiction or laziness, but most often because of circumstances beyond control.


Blair Hunter is an HR business partner at Twitter and global co-chair of Twitter’s LGBTQ resource group @TwitterOpen. Jennifer McDonald visited us during her first week at Twitter as a member of their public policy team. She says touring and meeting the people of the Tenderloin has been a highlight! Here’s a photo of the team in front of our HQ.

 Catch the tweet here, and follow @TwitterForGood to learn more.