Team Tools for the Homeless: IDENTIFY

Team Tools for the Homeless had a great first week! We have identified two potential areas that we want to focus our research:

  1. Identification theft among homeless individuals
  2. Access to proper hygiene while homeless

As a team, we have begun our research, paying close attention to some of the major implications of each problem space.

Identification Theft…

… makes it more difficult for homeless individuals to check-in to shelters

… makes it more difficult for homeless individuals to apply for jobs

… makes it more difficult for homeless individuals to receive public aid such as food stamps

… leaves homeless individuals feeling unsafe

… robs homeless individuals of their personal information

Not having access to proper hygiene…

… results in major health issues

… is a biohazard for those who live around you

… prevents homeless individuals from putting their best foot forward when applying for jobs

… is more difficult for women than men because it is harder for women to use the bathroom anywhere

Both of these problem statements contribute to some jarring slap-stats, revealing the need to address issues around homelessness:

  • 85% of homeless people have chronic health conditions
  • > 50% of homeless people have a mental health condition
  • 54 percent of homeless people without photo ID are denied access to shelters or housing services

We are very excited to visit Star of Hope, a shelter we have contacted to visit and potentially partner with. By observing and learning of their needs, we hope to apply one of these problem spaces to a project that would be meaningful in our Houston community.

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