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New app launched to help homeless; how does it work?

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Image: Fox News screengrab

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In a society that has automated everything from shopping lists to education, the universal cry, “there’s an app for that!” has become quite common.

Now, a company has taken the best of application technology and found a way to help the helpless.

Each day over half a million Americans are homeless, in what Fox News’ Douglas Kennedy called an epidemic. A New York based company, WeShelter Solutions, says on its website that its “mission is to use mobile technology to allow everyone to contribute to ending homelessness.”

In a Fox News Channel report this week, WeShelter’s Ilya Lyashevsky spoke about how the app eliminates the confusion over what someone can do to actually make a difference in the lives of the homeless.

“All currently available options have drawbacks,” Lyashevsky said. “So most people, most of the time, end up doing nothing, unfortunately.”

Lyashevsky, who has a background in technology, joined with friends to develop the WeShelter app. When encountering a homeless person, the app user can make a donation to partner organizations that the company says it has vetted carefully, to provide housing and outreach services.

The app also registers the location of the homeless person which is apparently breaking new ground in the field, according to Fox. Each time a person uses the app, the location is mapped for local groups to then send outreach teams in an effort to help the homeless person. This new feature is what has partner organizations excited about the app.

“Our goal is to go out and work with homeless people on the streets,” said Brenda Rosen, of Breaking Ground, New York City’s largest supportive housing provider and recipient of WeShelter funds.

The app also serves as a way to connect users with local service lines in the event a homeless person is in need of emergency help.

Lyashevsky explained that the company has also enlisted the help of corporate sponsors which make donations as well. “When the user taps a button, they see the branding of the sponsor so it’s a great opportunity for companies to showcase their corporate responsibility, he said.

“Corporate responsibility and individual activism, a winning combination that can truly help the homeless,” concluded Fox’s Kennedy.

Watch the report, below.

Frieda Powers

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