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Shannon

Hack4homelessness Photos

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Hack4homelessness Crowd Funding Supporters

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We’d like to give a shout out to the amazing sponsors of our Start Some Good crowdfunding campaign!

Toby Eggleston, Teamsquare Pty Ltd, Jack Skinner, Adrian Stone, Sam Rotberg, Nayeli Brancaccio, Asher Tan, Nat Swainston, Rob Voase, (In memory of) Habib Barbara, Adrian Stone, Annie Parker, Tom Fleming, Alan Riva, Himal Randeniya, Usman Iftikhar, Adam Joseph, Maya Marcus, Mark Cohen, Carolin Lenehan, Tom Dawkins, Colette Grgic, Natalie Wadwell, Joao Medrado, Martin Hesse, Lakshmi Balasubramani, Alex Scandurra, Kate Powl, Roy Green,  Alex Harrington, Monica Wul , Alan Jones,Paul Wallbank,Liz, Jakubowski, AyalaDomani, Tully Rosen, Anna Robson, Anne-Marie Elias, John Dobbin and Gavin Heaton.

 

Thanks to their help we have been able to put together a great event and we look forward to seeing the innovative ideas from our hackers!

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Meet Peter Valpiani

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#Hack4Homelessness starts tonight at Vibewire! (Running 15-17 September 2017) We spoke to Peter Valpiani, Chief Operating Officer for The Exodus Foundation, who is constantly working to find new and innovative ways of supporting people in the community.

Getting involved with our Hack4homelessness was natural fit for Exodus Foundation given their focus on innovation and design thinking. The Exodus Foundation has been working in the homelessness sector for nearly 30 years, providing over 3 million meals to the poor and homeless. While founder, Rev. Bill Crews has dedicated his life to improving the life of people who are homeless or in crisis, and has worked on the frontline in this space for 50 years.

The unique combination of free meals alongside the suite of health and outreach services provides a proven pathway out of poverty.  The Exodus Foundation’s emergency health & outreach services supply food parcels, housing assistance, and primary healthcare with the help of doctors, dentists and other clinical providers.

Peter believes ‘making a difference’ to homelessness is “about using empathy to understand the core needs of people who are experiencing homelessness, and designing programs and solutions that make a meaningful difference to their lives.  The challenge comes from establishing processes and procedures whilst keeping the organisation kind. Without constant monitoring the processes and procedures take away from the kindness”.

The Exodus Foundation’s team of staff and volunteers do inspiring things every day, from case workers who work tirelessly to advocate for a person in crisis, to dentists who make dentures that help people to smile again, to chefs who prepare up to 800 free meals every day of the year.  Peter “hopes that from this hackathon, a range of new, innovative, and human centered approaches to responding to homelessness are developed.  We hope that some of these ideas can be adopted and utilised to make a difference to people in need.”

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

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Who are SGCH?

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With our social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness kicking off tonight! (15-17 September 2017) We thought we’d go behind the scenes to talk with our sponsors SGCH (St George Community Housing). With over 30 years experience, SGCH are a community housing provider who develop and manage sustainable, safe and affordable homes to create vibrant, inclusive communities. They have provided a place to call home for more than 8,500 people across 4,4000 properties in the Sydney metropolitan area.

SGCH knows the people impacted by homelessness and housing affordability. They’ve listened to their stories and know their families and their pain; “It is heartbreaking to fathom that over 105,000 individuals are homeless on any given night in Australia”.

SGCH were motivated to come onboard as a sponsor as they think Hack4homelessness is an important way to amplify the voices and the stories of people who have experienced homelessness and to shed light on the disturbing link between homelessness and Australia’s acute lack of affordable housing. As young people are disproportionally represented in these figures they resonate with the “particular focus on connecting young people with opportunity. It is about bringing creative thinkers together to come up with solutions.”

SGCH are in the midst of delivering more than 800 new, social and affordable and energy efficient homes, across Sydney by 2021, providing more housing and more opportunities for low income families and have worked with other services providers to house people who are homeless through a number of different programs. In 2014, they launched a pilot project with the Mercy Foundation, called Project Sustaining Tenancies Around Youth (Project STAY). This provided subsidised private rental accommodation and wrap around support services for homeless/at risk youth in the Bankstown area.

One of the great challenges is there is simply not enough affordable housing for lower income and vulnerable households to rent. The sheer length of social housing waiting lists across the country indicate precisely how many people in Australia are struggling to cover their full living costs and survive in the private rental market (currently, there are 59,000 applicants on the NSW Housing Register and this number continues to grow).

In a country as prosperous as ours SGCH believe “it is simply unacceptable that we do not have an adequate supply of housing to cater for the needs of all people in our community and are looking forward to hackathon participants “coming up with ideas and solutions that may give more people the opportunity to access what is a basic human right – a safe and comfortable home”.

Vibewire hope that we can make a difference by bringing together the community, like-minded businesses, government, the private sector and housing providers like SGCH to deliver more social and affordable housing and connect people to opportunity.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

Introducing Jackie Coates

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Our social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness kicks of tomorrow night! (Running 15-17 September 2017). In the lead up, we asked Jackie Coates, Head of the Telstra Foundation, why she was keen to get involved and support the event.

Homelessness is an issue that affects all ages, all genders and all backgrounds. As a seasoned corporate social responsibility leader, Jackie is passionate about “tech for good”, which she describes as the intersection of social innovation and digital technology. Advocating for the transformative power of tech to help solve social problems, (particularly challenges impacting young people) is why she was motivated “to support this co-design process that brings different sectors together to work on solutions”.

Jackie will be on Sunday’s judging panel and as head of the Telstra Foundation manages a community investment portfolio that supports young people and the non-profits that help them. Understanding that homelessness is a complex issue connected to affordable housing shortages, domestic and family violence; financial poverty, long term unemployment, exiting prison, mental illness, addiction, and disability – to highlight just some factors.  She believes “to make a difference, we need to pull together as a society and create better scaffolding for people as they face into tough life challenges so things don’t escalate to homelessness”.

Telstra Foundation is committed to working with non-profits that support vulnerable people and helping to skill up these organisations in service design to drive better outcomes. This includes design thinking, user experience, research and prototyping, and also business design; digital design and product development.

Jackie is looking forward to us “busting some myths about homelessness through empathy and understanding; getting more people connected and engaged around this issue; and bringing to life some innovative solutions that have been co-designed with people who have lived experience of this challenge”.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

Introducing Mark Cohen

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#Hack4Homelessness, our social impact hackathon, begins tomorrow night! (Running 15-17 September 2017) We spoke to Mark Cohen, CTO for our sponsors Domain Group, who has always been bothered by the lack of energy our society puts into homelessness.

Domain Group sees getting involved with #hack4homelessness as a light bulb moment!  They offer an ecosystem of leading multi-platform property solutions and provide a service to help people get themselves and their families into homes – whether buying or renting.  Therefore, supporting our #hack4homelessness is a logical extension of who they are and what they do. It sits perfectly at the intersection of personal passion and Domain’s mission.

Mark is a vocal champion of innovation and capital-A Agile as cultural values, and believes all business needs a higher purpose. He was also motivated to get involved on a personal level as whenever he walks through the CBD he gets “the feeling we spend way too little energy on homelessness within our own community – As the old saying goes, charity begins at home – and this is a problem in our own streets, affecting our own people”.

Mark will be on Sunday’s judging panel and believes homelessness is not a problem that requires a big bang solution – every little bit can help, so “If we can help one person find their feet and get them off the streets, we’ve made a difference to the world.  If we can get a few people who were queuing to get into a shelter every night to get into a share house together, we’ve made a difference to them and the people who take their places in the shelters. That’s part of the beauty in trying to help”.

Domain Group are looking forward to seeing some lateral thinking come out of the hackathon. Mark suggests, “ideas that could be pursued to create finished products, maybe by looking into alternative sources of accommodation beyond the usual sources and by tapping into disused commercial metro land or building with basement spaces that could be plumbed and used, who knows what great ideas people may come up with!”

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

Meet Rob Holt from The Wayside Chapel

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Our social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness is this weekend 15-17 September 2017. In the lead up Rob Holt from The Wayside Chapel was kind enough to share his personal journey through homelessness with us in the video interview above. Rob details his struggles with loneliness, isolation, and separation from community and loved ones.

The Wayside Chapel has community service centres in both Kings Cross and Bondi. Each year, thousands of people visit Wayside for assistance in gaining equitable access to essential health, welfare and related services. They create a healing community by breaking down the barriers of judgment and providing a safe place where people from all walks of life are welcome. People marginalised by homelessness, mental health issues and substance abuse can turn to Wayside for compassion, tolerance and support.

Rob’s motivation for getting involved with #hack4homelessness is to support his “brothers and sisters by drawing the community into the fold”.

He believes “recognizing the human being – not the alcoholic or the drug addict – and saying hi is more powerful than putting money in a person’s hand” and wants organisations to allow their employees time off to volunteer with their families.

Rob thinks if kids – our future voters and leaders – get involved volunteering with their parents from a young age and can see and share in the issues being experienced by homeless people that those who are suffering now might have a better chance in future society.

You can read more about Rob’s story here.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

Meet Rabbi Mendel Kastel from Jewish House

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Vibewire’s social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness runs from this Friday 15 September to 17 September. In the lead up we had a chat with Rabbi Mendel Kastel, CEO of the Jewish House Crisis Centre, our amazing partners.

Jewish House is a non-denominational, not for profit organisation that offers accommodation, counseling services and other essentials for people in crisis. Jewish House provides an inspiring framework to look at innovative ways to measure and implement new ideas. Rabbi understands “we need to have an open mind to look at how we can do things better and I that a hackathon gives an opportunity to get different young minds to come up with ideas”.

Jewish House are one of the leading independent agencies taking a holistic and community based approach to addressing the immediate distress, causes and outcomes of homelessness, to then break the cycle and seek a permanent stable housing situation.

Rabbi believes “that we should not have a homelessness problem the way we do in Australia and every person should have their basic needs facilitated in this country and making a difference to homelessness is a good start”.

Over the weekend’s #hack4homelessness Rabbi wants to see new ways of thinking develop to “help those who are in contact with those experiencing homelessness – for them, their families and the community”.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

Introducing QBE’s Mark Baxter

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Ahead of our social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness scheduled next weekend (15-17 September 2017), we thought we’d catch up with QBE Australia’s Chief Risk Officer Mark Baxter who resonates greatly with this initiative having been touched by homelessness on a personal level.

QBE Insurance Group is one of the world’s top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all the key insurance markets. They employ more than 14,500 people in 37 countries. Mark explains “QBE has a proud tradition of supporting social causes and have done a lot around homelessness in the past”.

Mark had a difficult childhood, growing up in a poor family in country Victoria, his father struggled with alcoholism and they were kicked out of their family home. They moved from house to house relying on others “grace and favor” to keep a roof over their heads. Mark’s father died when he was just 11 years old and later due to cancer his mother died when he was 15 years old.

He is committed to ending the stigma surrounding homelessness. He remembers going past Martin Place a few weeks ago and feeling as if the people had been demonized by the misconception as to why they are homeless. Thinking, “but for the grace of god it could’ve been me”. His aim is to educate the community that “They’re not bad people and I get really, really annoyed that people do think they’re bad people because the majority are not”.

Mark is very excited about the upcoming Hack4homelessness and “to see some pragmatic real solutions to come out of this that actually help people”.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.

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Introducing Minerva Collective

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We caught up with Anthony Tockar ahead of our social impact hackathon, #Hack4Homelessness which is scheduled for 15-17 September 2017. Anthony Tockar is Co-founder of The Minerva Collective our data partners.

The Minerva Collective brings together people and data to help solve social problems and is committed to improving quality of life across the board, through the smart and active use of data. Anthony fully supports initiatives like our Hack4homelessness this month as they are a ‘”fantastic way of catalysing real change”.

Central to The Minerva Collective’s approach is the scientific establishment of metrics that can be used to measure success. Therefore Anthony says ‘making a difference’ to homelessness for them is “reducing homelessness, as measured by the number of person nights spent sleeping rough or by improving the quality of life of the homeless. I’m sure there will be many solutions at the hackathon that aim to do just this!”

This will be The Minerva Collective’s first project that tackles homelessness. However, their CEO, Michael Allwright, also runs Cafe Art Australia, which is a photography competition for those affected by homelessness. Hundreds of disposable cameras are distributed to Sydney’s homeless, and the winning entries receive prize money and a spot in the annual MySydney calendar.

Anthony is hoping to see ideas, energy and passion come out of the Hackathon, “ We’re hoping to see some innovative solutions using data to tackle homelessness and if we can turn these solutions into actionable outcomes we will certainly make a real difference”.

As part of The Minerva Collective contribution they are holding a special session with some of their analyst community this Friday 8 September 2017 to have a look through the data available and brainstorm themes, challenges and ideas, to help make this event a success.

You can RSVP here for the Homeless Data Brainstorm.

Vibewire’s #Hack4Homelessness brings Australia’s leading technology, engineering and social impact students, social entrepreneurs and startups together to tackle the challenge of homelessness. Running from 15-17 September 2017, you can register as a participant here.