Help the Homeless? There's an App for That

Two doctors in Boston may have found a way to identify which homeless people are most in need of urgent medical care

(Alison Wright/National Geographic Society/Corbis)

(Continued from page 1)

Being launched in five communities in June, the “Homeless Connector” mobile app is a version of the Vulnerability Index that, through the 100,000 Homes Campaign website, will eventually be available to anyone with a tablet or smartphone. Encountering a homeless person on the street, the volunteer electronically enters the survey answers and (with permission) snaps a cell phone picture. The information (along with the homeless person’s geographic coordinates, recorded via smartphone) is routed to the headquarters of the nearest community group participating in the 100,000 Homes Campaign.

“We want to create a country in which every homeless person is known by name and health condition,” Kanis says. “We want to strip away the anonymity of homelessness.”

About Abigail Tucker

A frequent contributor to Smithsonian, Abigail Tucker is writing a book about the house cat.

Read more from this author

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus