This weekend the homeless hack day took place in London.
The idea was to try and fix some of the problems faced by homeless people and the charities supporting them, all through the use of technology.
It was organised by a variety of public sector tech type, and gave teams of devs, engineers and ideas people a day to put an idea together. Some of the stuff that came out of it seems pretty interesting.
First prize went to The Homeless Link API which “uses the Homeless Link database to return all of the services available in a particular local authority based on a lat/long input. Essentially making it a lot easier for charities, advisers, and those in need to find the services they require.
Second prize was a project on SMS Credit Donation to conquer the issue of homeless people being unable to get credit, and Social Capital – a personal organiser to help give order to the chaotic lives suffered by homeless people, and help them gain access to Government services.
It will be worth monitoring to see if any of these winning projects get further implementation, as they all seem to have a lot of potential. I think the most important emphasis is providing useful data and services to providers, as data and technology based services are unlikely to be a priority for those who are homeless. However, some of the resources created in the Homeless Hack day could be of real value to cash strapped homeless charities and local authorities.
You can find out much more about the hack day at http://homelesshack.com.