Team: Aditya Bhaskar, Gabriela Espinoza Perez, Ella Camp, and Neerav Ankem
Course: CEE 92A: Design For Future Infrastructure Systems
Motivated by the increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, over 500,000 currently in Berkeley, CA, the team decided to address one of the challenges that many people face in this situation: communication. The IC Hope team’s project works to assist those experiencing houselessness better understand, and therefore access, the resources available to them such as food, shelter, employment opportunities, and healthcare. IC Hope is a digital kiosk for urban areas that bridges the communication gap between people struggling with homelessness and the resources available to them.
As part of their research, the team talked to Cheryl Wilson, CEO of St. Paul’s PACE, where she stated, “In San Diego, a homeless person is followed by social workers, and contacted when spots open up. Social workers have to go find them and put them in housing.” Essentially, IC Hope would help speed up the process by allowing those in need to access their available resources with more autonomy and in one convenient location.
The information center (IC in IC Hope), is a touchscreen kiosk with tabs that differentiate resources available. Under the food tab, users can find various places that offer meals, alongside menu options and days of operation. The shelter tab provides a list of places offering shelter, list amenities, as well as bed availability. There is also an employment tab, where users can browse a list of jobs that are currently looking to be filled. The resources tab will provide outlets for mental health, veterans services, and locations for COVID testing. Information for the IC kiosks will be updated remotely and simultaneously on all units in the area.
Currently, the team is working on adding additional languages to make sure the service provides access to as many people possible. Their hope is that 5 kiosks in Berkeley, California, will be able to assist 50 people every day.