Homelessness is something people encounter every day of their lives but continue to look away from. Every person is easily one or two mistakes from this issue, but still choose not to face the problem. I dedicated this past year to using my design skills to come up with a solution that can help people on the streets as well as change public opinion.
My solution was Hope for Homeless.
This project has two target audiences: homeless people on the streets and the public. It was designed with every device, mental state, and life situation in mind. Many homeless people have phones that can access the internet, which means the website had to be designed mobile first with the lowest impact on data plans.
Stories of people who have been homeless and know the struggle first-hand leave the strongest impact on both audiences. The homeless can read stories of people who may be similar to them and what they did - or didn't do - to get help. The stories also show the public the wide range of causes and issues surrounding the topic, as well as help ease the negative stigma.
Mobile phones are a very common way of accessing the internet for the homeless, yet most don't go on social media. Keeping this in mind, the campaign went with a grassroots approach. Items like water bottles and notebooks, which provide temporary support, were handed out at shelters and on the streets with a quote and a link to the website attached. From there, they can get access to the website and find the hope and support they need.
The stories provide hope, guidance, and emotional support for people in need. Once they decide to reach out and ask for the help, our website provides a resource page that includes a wide range of services and hotlines to tailor to many specific needs. The website also provides a place for people to share their story, as well as a page showing the public how to get involved.