San Francisco is a city renowned for its art and culture, however it also has a much higher than average homeless population. Estimated to be over 7000 homeless people, with more than half living on the street, there is no doubt as to why residents such as Rose Broome are taking it upon themselves to try to relieve the issues of the homeless population in one way or another.
Alongside co-founder Zac Witte, Broome has created Handup, a text-messaging platform that makes it easier to donate to the homeless. In addition to this donors can access the profiles of homeless individuals and families in San Francisco to help them better understand their stories and to give an idea as to what they are donating towards.
The homeless population are given personalised business cards, which comprise of their names and their basic needs, ranging from a need for dental care to clothes and toys for their children and food. Donations can be redeemed through Project Homeless Connect in exchange for these necessities.
Handup is an interesting way to help provide the basic needs of the homeless community of San Francisco, whilst at the same time allowing the donor understand the common issues leading to homelessness. The crowd-funding aspect, however, enables people to choose which person to donate money to, forcing the homeless to essentially market themselves to potential donors. Is that what we want?