Worth a Look: Homelessness + SMS/txt msg’ing

01 Poverty, Mobile, Technologies

Projects/attempts to get the public’s attention to homelessness using text messaging

If you are in Denmark, you can follow the life of a homeless man called Allan via an SMS service. Guerilla Innovation reports.

Other projects involving cell phones, aiming to raise awareness on the plight of the homeless:

Underheard in New York – Three interns of Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York decided to pair mobile technology with social justice, as they gave four homeless men cellphones.

Text a donation via homeless installation in Times Square – The one-day-only installation is part of a fundraising effort for Serving the UnderServed (SUS), an organization that provides housing and other services to the homeless and disabled.

Video Installation Encourages Homeless Activism In New York City – A homeless man in a video projection asks pedestrians to use their cell phones to send a text message that will help the homeless man get shelter.

Google offers phone numbers, voicemail to homeless – In 2008, Google made a donation of phone service to Project Homeless Connect, an effort dedicated to providing ordinary services to the very poor.

Comment: Another virtually invisible attempt in New York City is the text message service where sending “txtnyc” (space) “ss” to 368-638 will give you a menu to receive information on emergency services such as free meals, food pantries, shelter, hygiene services, etc for all NYC boroughs (“ss” stands for “street sheets“).  The idea being in conjunction with free phones from say Safelink Wireless (if this is even possible) or donated Tracfones.  Phones pre-installed with a directory of useful numbers to help those who are homeless to gradually climb out of extreme poverty is another idea.

Thanks to the Textually Twitter feed.