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The Homeless Hack Day initiative started in June 2012, when an initial hack day was held to address issues of digital inclusion amongst homeless people, and help charities work better with homeless people through technology. Find out more on the About page.
Six fantastic projects emerged from that day: Everyone In; Homeless Link API; Life Map; SMS Service App; Social Capital; and Text Donation. And you can find out more about each of these from the Projets menu on the right of this website. You may also be interested in the original challenge we set for the 16th June Hack Day.
As well as those projects, this website will host general news and announcements about the Homeless Hack Day initiative and forthcoming events. The posts below are the latest updates from across the whole site.
Irene McWilliams is discussing. Toggle Comments
After a fantastic day of making, doing, and thinking – our judges awarded prizes to the three best teams. Congratulations!
The API uses the Homeless Link database to return all of the services available in a particular local authority based on a lat/long input.
This has been designed to work in conjunction with Everyone In, but if publicly released could be used by anyone.
What the judges said:
…the most meaningful – the open API that was developed [...] that’s critical, because what he have got going on at the moment is many organisations doing wonderful things, but we don’t know where they all are – or have that aggregated list. If we look at the other projects, for example the reporting service, or Life Map – those are inherently tied to lets match the need with whoever can service the need; and this serves as a foundation layer to that service delivery.
SMS Credit Donation - Liz Zacharias, Enrico Costanza, George Green, Jimmy, Tal, Taidgh
Addressing the problem of homeless people not having credit, hence limiting the scope of how people could sign up. Conceptual work and really good ideas about ‘text donations’. Mainly working through using other peoples phones/credit to send messages. Looking at how to get past the 10p signup. Perhaps a ‘Botnet of phones’.
What the judges said:
In terms of scale of impact, this was not only at a national scale, but it also did wonderful things in terms of raising awareness and, I guess equalising between who had a lot and those who don’t have much. If we were able to get some of the national operators in the UK onboard, it would be such an easy way for people to give. And we’ve heard today how SMS is such a core way for organisations to delvier service, and for those in need to engage with service providers.
The team have created designs and ideas (that can be taken up at future/other hack days) for a SMS-powered personal organiser that can evolve into a social community with practical donations of help.
What the judges said:
I think we’ve heard a lot today about individual users chaotic lives, where they don’t have a centre of gravity where they can lay their head at night, where they can put their stuff, where they can put their data. And we know that with the increasing need around, really, to have access to your data, to avail yourself of government services, and perhaps some charity services – having that in one safe place, and accessible all the time, is extraordinarily important – in order to be able to access all these services.
Jon is discussing. Toggle Comments
There’s a Flickr group! Add your photos
Creating an android app to power a ur_msg like system. The idea is to allow may other small homeless charities access to this type of service with low/minimal set-up costs.
The team have come up with a public-facing service (app or site) where the public can submit information about people they see who are sleeping rough. The team have written all of the copy asking questions, giving feedback and also have developed a payment system if people want to donate and do more. The user interface has also been developed.
The report will go the responsible authority, for the location, based on geodata. This also generates information about the service offer in each area, who will respond to the report.
Two main areas:
‘Donate your texts’ (Enrico Costanza) - addressing the problem of homeless people not having credit, hence limiting the scope of how people could sign up. Conceptual work and really good ideas about ‘text donations’. Some good contacts made during the day. Mainly working through using other peoples phones/credit to send messages. Looking at how to get past the 10p signup. Perhaps a ‘Botnet of phones’.
ur_msg Scraping (@ewanck) – Building more scrapers to use for the existing ur_msg system.
Key contact: @jacattell
An easy to use, universal, visual interface for clients and outreach workers to use to identify and track status and progress.