Homelessness is a serious issue worldwide and affects over half a million Americans on any given night.
When basics like food and shelter are uncertain, technology is often an afterthought. The truth is that modern-day technology advancements can help solve the homelessness crisis by facilitating affordable housing and policy changes.
If you are wondering how technology can positively influence homelessness, this post is for you. Keep reading to discover how equipping all homelessness stakeholders – governments and service providers – with the right tools and data can help them solve this issue.
Using Software Solutions
Technology solutions are being used in solving virtually every problem today, and the homelessness crisis has not been left out.
Using software solutions such as a Coordinated Entry System (CES), it has now become possible for governments and service providers to coordinate and manage resources and services relating to the homelessness crisis. In other words, it is now pretty easy and efficient to connect the most vulnerable, chronically homeless people to interventions that aim to rapidly resolve their housing crisis.
Use of the Internet
Today, the Internet is the most important communications medium, serving nearly 4.72 billion around the world. As such, online peer communication, such as discussion forums and support groups, could enhance the health outcome of homeless individuals. Whether they are used as a link to material aid, to provide reciprocal emotional support, or share information, these computer-mediated support groups can be of great importance to those experiencing homelessness by:
- Making it possible for them to manage their health condition independently
- Increasing social support,
- Decreasing depression, and
- Increasing quality of life.
Besides, providing accessible internet connection to homeless individuals allows them to get information on recovery meeting locations, employment, maps, medical conditions, weather forecasts, to name but a few. Consequently, they can find a way out of their problems and lead better lives.
Using social media
Social media platforms like Meetup, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others have become critical tools for spreading messages. For homeless individuals, these tools provide an excellent chance to express their opinions, share experiences, and come together around a common cause, such as fighting prejudices and requesting policy changes.
Social media also allows for leisure by staying up to date on the latest news, playing games, locating free goods and services, and so much more.
Use of Mobile Phones
Today, mobile phones are an essential part of our lives, and almost every person has one. Among the homeless individuals, mobile phones, just like social media, enhance communication and make it possible to organize themselves around a common cause such as to demand better health care and safe housing.
Additionally, mobile phones are helpful in social relationships. They help homeless people to contact family, friends, potential employers, and social workers. Through phone calls and messages, homeless individuals can also get info on where to get necessities such as food and shelter.
When it comes to health matters, mobile phones can facilitate the dissemination of information between homeless people and their health care providers. For example, information about vaccinations for infectious diseases like influenza can be communicated through text messages. As a result, it becomes a lot easier to spread awareness, encourage prevention measures and facilitate adherence to a medication course.
Homelessness has been a serious issue for years and continues to grow every year. Thankfully, with the advent of modern technology, there is so much that the governments and other stakeholders can do to curb the homelessness crisis. It’s important to note that the homelessness solutions go beyond the ones discussed in this post.