Table of Contents
TABLE OF CONTENTS Mission Statement...................................1-4 Concept/Design...................................5-12 Supporting Research..........................13-22 Summary/Future..................................23-24
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED
STEREOTYPES OF THE HOMELESS Letâ€™s face it, homelessness is a problem everywhere. The place weâ€™re most commonly reminded of this issue is in cities. People who live or work in cities where walking is more common than driving know this more than anyone. They are approached by begars asking for cash on a daily basis. Numerous people shy away from giving out their loose change or cash because of stereotypes. The thought that crosses our minds is that if we give them our money, then they will use it on something other than their basic needs for survival. While it is wrong to stereotype people, this scenario can be true in most cases. So how can we help the homeless in a safer and smarter way?
BE WISE. GIVE WISELY.
PRODUCT Street Wise is a kiosk that enables users to exchange their money for a card that can be given to a home less person without the fear of the money being misused in any way. The card includes the ability to purchase food, clothing, and bus fare. This way, the person in need is given access to basic necessities.
TASKS While the primary function of Street Wise is to create a safer way to give to people in need, not everyone is comfortable with handing a complete stranger anything at all. In this case, Street Wise also functions as a device that enables users to donate to different organizations around the city. The user is given access to a databse of organizations in their locality in which he or she is able to choose which organization their money is going towards.
USERS This device has two main groups of users. The primary users are the people that have a desire to help the homeless beggars on the street corner, but donâ€™t want to hand them cash. The kiosk is meant to be used by these people that want to help homeless people in their city. The secondary users are the homeless people. The homeless people are given the card in which they use to purchase food, clothing, or bus fare.
Concept / Design
1. Touch Screen 2. Card Dispenser 3. Money/Card Insert 4. Reciept Print Out
Concept / Design
ABOUT Street Wise is a safer alternative to handing your cash to a homeless person that you donâ€™t know. This kiosk allows you to exchange your money for a card that can be given to a person in need. The card allows the homeless person to buy food, clothing or bus fare. You can simply select the dollar amount that you would like to go on the card and then retrieve your card in the dispenser below the screen. While the primary function of this kiosk is to exchange your money for a wise card, not everyone is comfortable with the idea of giving anything out to strangers. In this case, Street Wise also allows you to donate to homeless organizations in your locality. We have provided you with a databse of all the organizations and shelters around so that you can decide which one to give you money to.
How Many Cards Would You Like To Purchase? 1
Enter The Dollar Amount To Be Put On The Card. 1
Readings Homelessness In America by Jim Baumohl Homelessness and Social Policy by Roger Burrows Homelessness In Society: Looking The Other Way? by Ernest P. Todd Homeless Problem by Matthew A. Kraljic thebrownandwhite.com/media
Interviews Jeremy Duprey Senior Youth Pastor Christ Church Episcopal Karen Mottinger, M.S. A.T.R Coordinator of REACH An After School Program For Homeless Children Anonymous Person EBT/Food Stamps user
Video InterviewMr. Jeremy Duprey Senior Youth Pastor Christ Church Episcopal 5000 Pouncey Tract Rd Richmond VA 23059
We do some service projects with our youth. We sometimes go down town and do projects on the first Saturday of each month, and we have some interaction with the homeless population. I think there are some stereotypes that have some truth to them. Most stereo types do have some truth, but it’s dangerous to stereotype each individual with a larger group. I think one of the stereotypes for many homeless is that they’re drunks or that they spend all of their time or money on finding ways to consume alcohol or drugs, and I think that is true partially for some. But for many, a lot of their time and energy is spent to find the next hot meal, or trying to find a place to just stay warm and so it takes so much effort to do that, just to find those two basic needs that we almost assume that people that are in that position have gotten there because of their addiction to some sort of substance. And so there’s a lot of assumption that happens for homelessness, and even those people who may have become homeless because they were addicted to alcohol or drugs. It doesn’t mean that they continue to be ad icted to those things. Some people could not be on those but be in a place in homelessness where they just can’t get out of there. In my experience with the homeless I’ve seen people who just cannot catch a break, and you have to catch breaks to come out of homelessness because it is so difficult to find the resources that are needed to escape homelessness and it just takes so much effort to do that. So I guess for at least the stereotype that I initially think of, the you know, addicted to some type of substance, it is true for some, but it is an assumption we should not make about most homeless people.
This assumption does prevent most people from helping most homeless people. People are afraid that when they hand out some money that the person is just going to take that money and go buy some liquor with it. So I think it keeps some people from giving. I know that one of the ways to combat that would be to encourage people to give to organizations that don’t provide alcohol or drugs to homeless folks. So if you want to give, or if you want to serve in some capacity, serve with an organization that already has ways in which they really help people so that there are homeles folks that even though that have that temptation to go buy alcohol, you’re not leaving it up to them. You’re leaving it up to the organiztion that will provide them with the hot meal or the shelter. I believe that one of the roots to homelessness is generational poverty. You see people who grew up poor, and they grew up with poor examples. For example if you had a person who gre up in a family where the parents did not budget, and they just spent what the wanted to spend on until they ran out of money and for three weeks out of the month they didn’t have any money so they went without eating. And it’s amazing the examples that the parents set for their kids, because I’ve heard of people growing up in that environment and then when they become adults and have kids, they do the exact same thing. So it’s really hard to break out of this cycle of generational poverty. Because they were poor growing up, and they’re poor as adults, and even if they got a little money they want that quick fix. So for example: my wife Jamie has worked with some really low income children, and she would hear about their parents getting a bonus or something at the end of the year and they would go out and buy a big sreen tv, instead of putting in their savings account for when they don’t have enough money at the end of January, You know? so they want to feel good and that’s understandable because for so long they’ve felt like crap, and it makes sense that they want to feel good even for just a little while, biut that’s the example that their parents set for them. They saw their parents go out and take them to a really nice meal when they should’ve just gone to the store and had macaroni and cheese that night so they could save their money so that they could have macaroni and cheese three weeks later so that’s one of the biggest roots I think that you have to teach people and people have to understand that they gotta save. Another reason for homeless I think is the system that we currently have. People have to stand in line for hours upon hours to only fill out a form to maybe get a service from a government agency or a non-profit organization that could help them out. And they spend all of their time going through that system and sometimes it’s just not worth it. So that’s one of the reasons I think people stay homeless once they get there.
Neil Postman Questions
What is the problem to be solved?
Whose problem is it?
What new problems are created or generated because of the result of solving this problem?
Which people in which institutions might be harmed mostly by introducing this new technology?
What changes in language are being enforced?
What sort of people acquire special or political power because of new technology?
Often times people dont give their money to the homeless beggar on the street, primarily because of the uncertanties of what they will really do with the money.
This should be everybody’s problem, because no matter who you are, you don’t really know the homeless person that’s asking you for your money.
There could be the possibility that homeless people would congregate around the kiosk in the store, begging all of the store’s customers for this kiosk card.
The stores that are housing the kiosk, due to the fact the many homeless people may loiter in that store now and pester every customer for the kiosk card.
As helping people with this safe technology grows more popular, the very definition of “homeless” could change in the minds of people, as well as people’s quick tendency to stereotype different people.
As of now, the answer to this question does not come to mind. It’s hard to answer this question until the kiosk is put into the real world and is actually used.
AEIOU Five Dimensions of Experience
Buying food Buying clothes Buying transportation Removing stereotype factor Getting by day to day
Grocery Stores Store Fronts Gas Stations Urban Areas Downtown
Touch Screen Internet Network Helping Homeless Donating
Kiosk Card Website Brochure Bulletin
Homeless Unemployed Former Inmates Non-Homeless College Students
Summary/Future Direction Street Wise certainly does not solve the problem of homelessness. Itâ€™s only a temporal solution to help homeless people who are in desperate need. As far as the future goes, I would love to develop a website that compliments the kiosk. Due to the time constraints and limited resources, I was only able to skim the surface of the potential of this new way of helping homeless people who are in need.
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