Western News: Homelessness and the internet

If you’re a person facing homelessness or
in extreme poverty, having access to digital connectivity
can mean the difference between getting out
of homelessness, or living on the street.
When you’re in a situation of homelessness,
particularly as a young person, not being able
to be digitally connected really exposes you
to increased harm. it means that you can’t
access emergency services, you can’t stay
in contact with your friends or your family members, and increasingly
government services require that young people
fulfil their reporting requirements online,
which mains that they may be disconnected
from core welfare services that are keeping
them off the street.
The Making Connections project was a project
where we worked with young people who have
recently experienced homelessness, and they
came up with some good ideas to improve their
connectivity solutions.
We then ran a stakeholder workshop which involved
representatives of libraries, homeless services
and government departments to try and come
up with an implementation plan for those project
ideas. And those concept guidelines are now being developed further, we set up a develop[ment group wiht the various libraries in the City of Sydney. We’ve got quite a lot of interest from
a number of organisations and social enterprises
but we’re yet to get the telcos on board and
that’s our next step.

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