Elevate: Ensuring Access to Food for Homeless Populations

Elevate: Ensuring Access to Food for Homeless Populations

We present a text-message system that increases access to hot meals for homeless populations. Homeless people in the USA face several challenges, a crucial one being food insecurity. Through contextual inquiry, we found that although the homeless community is aware of various sources of free food, most of the information is spread through word of mouth. This leaves knowledge incomplete, inconvenient for those on the move, and difficult to remember. We address these issues with a system that allows homeless users and their supporters to update and receive notifications about locations serving free hot meals in a given area, using technology they already have access to their (often non-smartphone) mobile phones. The system was prototyped, and an initial round of testing was completed with a homeless community in southern Michigan.

JOURNAL: Association for Computer Machinery
PAGES: 80-85
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017