Recognizing that locally more than 63% of street-involved youth and 30% of marginalized individuals over the age of 30 have a cellphone - this online tool was developed to freely send alerts about Shelter, Food, Health, Jobs/training and for emergencies. The SMS also enables organizationally-controlled group messaging functions which makes it possible to send the alerts and updates to an organization's current client lists, program participants, staff and professional networks. This is not an APP. No download is needed for the social service provider or the community member - plus every cellphone is text-ready. It’s time to harness technology and connect now.
Judy Graves, renowned Anti-poverty & Homeless Advocate lent her support and insights for the development of the SMS. Through the generosity of Cineworks - Play It Foward Program Judy graciously hosted this three minute video to put context to the scope of the community's needs and the potential of the SMS.
With help from the Telus Foundation, we were able to engage with the Downtown Eastside community in Vancouver to check cell adoption rates, price plans and review the feasibility of the SMS making the impacts we believed were possible.SMS had a 92% enrollment rate for those with cellphones.