Tech for good: tackling homelessness
Last Thursday, our Ops Assistants Grace and Chloe attended the talk "How can technology help the homeless in Brighton and Hove?". Check out their blog on what they found out...
The evening presented a great opportunity to discuss whether we can combat homelessness using a technological approach. In attendance was a consortium of tech specialists, local MPs, local government and citizens who presented a range of insights as to how technology could be applied to this societal problem. The Panel included Frances Duncan (CEO of The Clocktower Sanctuary), Mathew Jellings (ENGIE UK), Lucy Groenewoud: (Arts Practitioner, Creative Project Manager, and Designer), Alex Stephany (BEAM) and Larissa Reed (Executive Director, Neighbourhoods, Communities & Housing, Brighton and Hove Council).
How tech can help
A big part of the evening was also presented by two young members of the community, Varun and Christinan. They presented the idea of the ‘Hope Hub’. A safe space that would not only provide a place to stay for homeless individuals but also opportunities for lessons and additional support. There was also a focus on social inclusion using technology. With a prominent example being the idea of The Hope Hub app, which would help to link individuals to potential job opportunities whilst also providing emergency contacts and check-ins.
Other initiatives were shared such as BEAM and Citizens Online which both highlighted how technology can be used to incorporate socially excluded individuals into the digital world and how such inclusion is beneficial, either through job-entry or through visibility.
Whilst this event focused on technological approaches in relation to Brighton specifically, central government has also recognised the need to use technology to add social value, particularly through sustainable procurement. Back in March of this year, Cabinet Minister David Liddington announced the Government’s commitment to using public procurement as a tool to better support “social enterprises.”
We left the evening feeling super inspired!