After an intense reframing stage, we have narrowed down our HCW question to: How can we promote the self-sustainability of marginalized individuals who either lack a GED or have children by focusing on their personal spaces? We want our design to have low costs, be sustainable and help the homeless youth in the long-term, and be repeatable across multiple homeless youth. We came up with two concepts which address various key insights as described below.
Concept 1: The Baby Box
With this concept, the Baby Box directly addresses the needs of current mothers and expecting mothers by providing a low-cost “crib” for the baby to sleep in, as well as resources to get them started with taking care of a child. These mothers in the rehousing program often have trouble finding childcare, so have to sacrifice most of their time to take care of their children. Therefore, this box would help relieve some of the stress by providing resources and materials to help them become comfortable with taking care of children.
Concept 2: The GED Box
One of our key insights was that two-thirds of the rehoused youths do not have GED, due to factors such as lack motivation, lack of access to a computer, lack of reliable transportation to get to classes, and conflicting priorities. Also, some of these youths have children, which increases the burden that they face. Having a GED is very important because many jobs require a GED at the very least, and after 10 months, the rehoused youths need to pay half of the rent by themselves. Therefore, for those who do not have a GED, getting one is very important and should be prioritized.
To evaluate our concepts, we will use the following measures of success:
- Short-term: 90% feel the solution decreases barrier to achieve important goals (i.e. work towards GED/barrier to taking care of their children)
- Medium-term: 90% actively use the resources
- Long-term: 50% of non-GED holders get a GED by the end of 18 months, or 90% report feeling less burdened from childcare
Because the Baby Box concept already exists in several countries, and expecting parents in Houston can receive the baby box for free, we have ultimately decided to go forward with the GED box. We believe that this box could help alleviate stress from not only non-GED holders, but also non-GED holders who are also mothers.
Key Pieces of Feedback from MSR:
- We need to consider the question: How can we test with users to see if the GED box truly relieves the burden on homeless youths who don’t have a GED or a job?
- We should ideate around the idea of bringing the means to getting a GED to their spaces.
- We should make sure that the materials in the box are not overwhelming and cause the user to feel even more stressed. We want them to feel motivated.
We’re really excited to continue forward with our GED box idea and ideate some really useful items to include in the box. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!