Why are we hacking homelessness?
The first in our series of social impact hackathons was held in September 2017. Almost 100 participants, mentors, and subject matter experts assembled to collaborate on new approaches to homelessness. They were led in their co-design by people with the lived experience of homelessness – and together nine solutions were pitched to a panel of judges.
We felt that a new approach was needed because NSW has the highest rates of homelessness in the country. A third of homeless resulting from domestic violence and relationship issues, a third resulting from accommodation issues and 22% resulting from financial difficulties.
Young people are disproportionately represented in these figures. And while we would like to solve homelessness for all, we have a particular focus on connecting young people with opportunity to help them create the future.
Who was involved?
Hackathons are a perfect vehicle to connect disparate groups including:
- Socially-aware businesses: Companies that understand the importance of a “social license to operate” can bring resources to support hackathon challenges, including expertise, data and financial support
- Governments and agencies: Deep understanding of the policy levers available can help participants create sustainable solutions
- Homeless people: We believe in the power of co-design and will actively engage homeless young people in the development of the hackathon
- Social, creative and tech entrepreneurs: We need to rethink the way that we tackle this challenge. This means tapping networks of those who are able to quickly imagine, create and prototype solutions to homelessness.