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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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