Hacking Homelessness

4025 Registered Allowed team size: 1 - 4

Winners are announced.

hackathon
Online
starts on:
Dec 14, 2019, 11:01 PM
ends on:
Jan 31, 2020, 10:59 PM

Winners

Overview

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As cities grow, so do the number of homeless

Homelessness is a mark of failure for communities in providing basic security. Based on national reports, it’s estimated that no less than 150 million people, or about 2 percent of the world’s population, are homeless. However, about 1.6 billion, more than 20 percent of the world’s population, may lack adequate housing.

Such statistics come with a caveat. Obtaining accurate numbers is difficult, mostly due to wild variations in definitions around the globe. Also, measuring homelessness is costly: Cities may under-count due to embarrassment while individuals avoid officials due to shame and fear of harassment.

However, the continuation of homelessness, especially among the wealthy countries, reflects denial and the lack of political will to address poverty and many other issues. Homeless men, women, and children will likely remain an accepted feature of modern urban life for the foreseeable future.

Homelessness is a deepening crisis on the streets of America

Homeless America defies easy characterization. It has more residents than some rural states—more than 550,000 Americans experience homelessness on a typical night, and 1.4 million spend some time in a shelter in a given year.

California has the largest population of people experiencing homelessness, with nearly 130,000, 90,000 of whom are unsheltered, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city of San Francisco alone had a 30% increase in homelessness since 2015. New York has approximately 91,000, and Florida has over 31,000.

Given these challenges, efforts to tackle homelessness through increased state involvement in the housing sector have not been able to yield the intended results. This strategy amounts to simply throwing money at the problem.

Reasons for homelessness include shortages of affordable housing, privatization of civic services, investment speculation in housing, unplanned and rapid urbanization, as well as poverty, unemployment, and family breakdown.

This holiday season, let us hack for a great cause and produce a solution with the potential to make a real difference. Let us do our bit for a sustainable tomorrow, where millions do not have to live without the basic necessities of life such as food, clothing, and shelter.

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Themes

Accessible healthcare for homeless people

Homeless people are at a relatively high-risk from a broad range of acute and chronic illnesses. Some health problems are consequences of homelessness such as diseases of the extremities and skin disorders, mental disorders, drug addiction, etc. It also increases the possibility of trauma, especially as a result of physical assault or worse.

Let us come up with solutions that can make healthcare accessible to homeless people.

Contributing for a change

Several organizations are working toward eradicating homelessness and getting people off the streets. Create a solution to list such organizations, spreading awareness among the general public about the work these organizations are doing for a better community and make it accessible for citizens to contribute in terms of donations and ideas.

Accessibility to shelters

Shelters are available for the homeless in certain cities. However, due to various reasons, many homeless people choose not to utilize these shelters and live on the streets instead. One reason is that homeless individuals who are affected by mobility issues cannot access them and are unsure about how shelters function.

Let us come up with solutions that can create awareness about shelters for the homeless and how to access them.

Open innovation

Your challenge is to produce a technological solution that will aid the work of organizations working toward eradicating homelessness or help the homeless better access basic daily human necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. You are only restricted by your imagination on what you can create.

Cold front sleeper project

People on the streets often choose not to access shelters during warmer months for a variety of reasons (from struggling with the shelter policy on substance abuse to fear of violence in the shelter). However, during the colder months and particularly during cold fronts, there is often a surge in demand for beds in shelters and a greater challenge to access a bed. This can result in an increase in deaths from exposure to the cold.

Let's come up with a solution for community halls, churches, schools and members of the public to offer a bed during winter months or on particularly cold/wet nights of the year

Prizes

Main Prizes
Winner
USD 750
First runner-up
USD 500
Second runner-up
USD 250
Special Prizes
Eureka!
USD 199

"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." We, at HackerEarth, value this absurdity. Submit your weirdest "Eureka!" idea in-line with one of the themes. The weirdest idea in the lot that has the potential to make a difference will win an Xbox One S!

Hero Design
USD 22

A great user interface is so seamless that we don't even think about it but a bad user experience tends to make us frustrated, even angry. The application with the best UI/UX will win an Amazon Alexa Dot.

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