Human Services Council of NYC


About us videos, Public Service Announcements, Scriptwriting

Project Summary


Human services workers generally make about 71% of what government employees make, and 82% of what private sector workers receive for the same role.

Four years ago, the Human Services Council of New York approached us to help advocate and produce their annual gala sketch. The comedy short Everyone Deserves a Fair Slice has become one of our most-watched videos with over 84,000 views. Since then, we have gone back to NYC every year (well, almost every year. #thanks2020) to work on a new video addressing similar issues that nonprofit organizations face.

The pandemic brought to the surface nonprofits’ worst difficulties: government-sanctioned poverty pay to workers in the Human Services sector. The city relies on these organizations to provide essential human services (food pantries, emergency relief, case management) while only willingly paying (often late) 70% of what it costs to run these programs, leading to underfunded organizations and underpaid workers who are now qualifying for the same services they themselves provide. 

On average, 85% of frontline employees involved in in-person interactions are people of color, with 48% identifying as African American or Black and 30% identifying as Hispanic or LatinX, which means POC workers and their families are at a disproportionately higher risk of contracting COVID-19. This data was compiled in a 72-page task force report developed by the Human Services Council of New York. You can find the full report here.   

To fight this problem, HSC is launching a new campaign called #JustPay, asking for the fair and timely compensation of the people who are holding communities together!  You can check out the website at

This year, to coincide with the reopening of New York City’s Broadway Musicals and The #JustPay Campaign, Key Ideas wrote and produced a musical-style video for the gala. Carlos wrote the lyrics and script for The State of the Sector, and Texas-native composer Nathan Felix created the score.

State of the Sector is by far the most challenging project we have produced. Our San Antonio team collaborated with people from Austin, Los Angeles, and New York City, who came together for a two-day shoot at the end of October. We also had the privilege of meeting and interviewing real workers who will be featured in the Just Pay PSA campaign launching in early 2022.

This project has been an incredible partnership between Key Ideas and HSC. We are so proud of the work we produced and excited to see it create traction for the #JustPay campaign.

The #JustPay Campaign is fighting to end government-sanctioned poverty wages for human services workers.