By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When a Philadelphia film company needed to expand, it went looking for new employees in an unconventional place, homeless shelters.
With clients such as Nike, Anthropology and Levi’s, the Neighborhood Film Company is doing well, but what it really wants, is to do good.
“It’s not the camera moves we get to do, the videos we get to make, it’s the people and the interactions that I count most valuable,” says filmmaker Dominic Laing, the company’s founder.
He had successful careers but felt that wasn’t enough.
They wanted to help others more directly so they made hiring adults in recovery part of their core mission. They recently spun off a non-profit, Working Film Establishment, to provide training and support so they can bring on three new interns.
Director Dan Walser says it’s a departure from the high-turnover, low wage positions that are usually the best alternative for this group.
“We train them and give them an opportunity and avenue to long term employment that can mean transformation for them,” Walser explains.