An SMS based network, that changes methods in which the homeless and social service institutions provide and acquire information about available independent housing.
With over 50,000 New Yorkers sleeping in shelters, the need to disperse information regarding housing services is paramount. This project attempts to understand, and account for, the social and institutional infrastructure upon which the homeless rely in order to better the way housing information is obtained. Homeward was designed, built, and deployed recognizing the increasing role that mobile technology plays in the lives of the homeless population. An SMS and voice based system, Homeward empowers homeless users to actively participate in the search for independent housing after they have been vetted and processed into the social service system. It addresses issues that caseworkers face in distributing the information that they have on available housing to those that are eligible for assistance. With access to a system populated by many caseworkers from across multiple service organizations, clients who are embarking on their final steps to acquire housing are better equipped to find the apartments they need.