One of the first questions many prospective supporters of our scheme ask when we tell them that we develop apps designed to help homeless people is: “Do homeless people have smartphones?” It is a reasonable question, people are thinking of their own experiences with phone contracts and phone shops and imagining the difficulties that a homeless person might face in obtaining what a judgemental society may deem an unnecessary luxury. However, for homeless people, a mobile phone is not a luxury. It can serve as a vital connection to broader society and an access point to support services.
Most Homeless People Have Smartphones
The regularly changing circumstances of homeless people mean that statistics on mobile phone use in the homeless community are hard to come by. But anecdotal evidence from support workers indicates that mobile phone use is near universal and ownership of a mobile phone well above 50% even among rough sleepers – the most visible and vulnerable sector of the homeless community.
How Homeless People Use Their Smartphones
Homeless people use their smartphones in the same way as homed people – to stay in touch with their contacts through calls and texts, and to browse information on the internet. The difference is that the information they access might provide the location of their next meal or a phone call might find them a place to sleep for the night.
For more information about any of our apps or to get involved in the Kanndoo project, please don’t hesitate to get in touch – email firstname.lastname@example.org.