Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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homeless webforum/social network

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On every homeless shelter, there is a rugged computer where a homeless person can access a specially made Homeless webforum as a homeless person.

They also get an optional card, which allow them to have a 'social profile', that allows doners to 'donate' funding and stay in contact/follow/stalk the homeless person.

This card is accessible on various participating shops which will provide discounted services to make the homeless person's life easier. Also for certain food shops, it authorize the shop owner to give away leftover food of the day (instead of throwing it away), via making homeless people sign a onetime waiver.

Of course if the homeless person doesn't like the fact that money donated, cannot just be spent anywhere... they can just revert to their normal begging routine. However if there is a service supported by the card, they can ask doners to send them money via the card(can be as easy, as a premium SMS).

This service will also ask every homeless person a poll, to gauge how effective certain approach is going for them. You can even create a 'ask reddit' kind of service, where you ask homeless people to make ideas how to get out of their problem, and get it voted up or down. (best post will hopefully be implemented by the website's team.)

mofosyne, Oct 06 2010

Cleaning the homeless Cleaning_20the_20homeless
my anno reads like 21Qs [bungston, Oct 06 2010]

WSJ: "The Homeless Stay Wired" http://online.wsj.c...63359881267523.html
Wall Street Journal article surveying different ways in which homeless stay wired, including computers in shelters and personally owned laptops. [jutta, Oct 08 2010]


       Why must the computer be rugged?
bungston, Oct 06 2010

       The homeless can use the internet just like the people with homes. They don't need a special "bumternet" to degrade their social status yet further. @ [21Q] I disagree. Compassion /= coddling.
WcW, Oct 06 2010

       //Why can't they get in line at a soup kitchen like everyone else?//   

       I don't eat at the soup kitchen...do you? Really?   

       There are good intentions in this idea, I can tell. But, it seems to be addressing the symptoms of homelessness (not saying they shouldn't be addressed) than the causes, which are pretty varied, I think.
Boomershine, Oct 06 2010

       No, I guess that is pretty obvious, isn't it? I'm of mixed feelings about making homelessness 'easier' as [21Q] puts it.   

       I do think the ideas proffered here make it hard to distinguish the compassion from the coddling.
Boomershine, Oct 06 2010

       What about the fact that having a central place where people can follow homeless people around and provide ongoing support in terms of encouragements, and advice.   

       What about having a central homeless forum, allows fr information to homeless to be located in the same spot as well.   

       I'm sure its more than just coddling. And its cheaper than than just giving every bum a laptop (like one laptop per child program).
mofosyne, Oct 07 2010

       //follow homeless people around//??
I don't think I would enjoy someone following me around whether I was homeless or not. Having *ideas* about other people's conditions are not always suitable from the outsider's point of view.
xandram, Oct 07 2010

       [21] There are very few people who are homeless by choice. It's a dirty, dangerous, extremely uncomfortable, and often painful lifestyle.
Voice, Oct 07 2010

       I saw a homeless guy about a month ago, come into our local McDonald's and buy a coffee. I then watched as he sat down, fished a laptop out of his shoulder bag, log onto the 'net and start doing his internet banking.   

       Presuming all homeless people are alike is a mistake.   

       I'm also aware of another homeless man who approached a friend who owned a hardware store, for advice. The guy had met a woman he wanted to marry and they were after info on buying a house. between them they had $580,000 in their savings accounts.   

       Presuming all homeless people are destitute is a mistake.
infidel, Oct 08 2010

       [infidel] //I saw a homeless guy about a month ago//   

       How did you know he was homeless? All people who appear homeless are not homeless. I do not mean this to antagonize you. I see more destitute looking people walking around town than I see sleeping under bridges.   

       [Akimbo]//I'm sure its more than just coddling.//   

       I think that's the problem. It needs to be LESS than coddling.
Boomershine, Oct 09 2010

       what do you mean boomshine? Can you rephrase what you said?   

       Wouldn't having a central place where homeless can find 'useful information' and communicate between themselves, help promote independence and eventually emancipation?
mofosyne, Oct 09 2010

       Because I've seen the guy wandering around town for the past 8 months or so and observed him sleeping on the covered benches out behind the shopping centre, early in the morning.   

       I may be completely wrong but he seems to live in the city centre and often picks up a free lunch from the rubbish bins in the shopping centre food court. That and the fact he smells like a polecat and has a few years worth of dirt on him lend him a certain "air".
infidel, Oct 09 2010

       [Akimno] //what do you mean boomshine? Can you rephrase what you said?//   

       I can try. Your intentions probably do stem from compassion. I have no reason to doubt that. Compassion might be the first thing we feel towards the less fortunate. But, any action or response to them is something more, up to, in my opinion, pure coddling, i.e., doing for them what they could/should be doing for themselves.   

       I didn't really say that your idea here was coddling (although [21] might be right that it is). It was your comment about it being 'more than coddling' that got my attention and anno.   

       It can be a fine line, I know. I'm guessing you are young (that is not an aspersion). After you've seen hundreds, maybe thousands of apparently homeless people accepting all the charity programs provided them, you begin to wonder what good those programs do. Which is not to say I advocate doing nothing.   

       [infidel] Thanks for the clarification. If you've seen him sleeping under a bridge, that would pretty much make him homeless.   

       We have a somewhat famous (everyone knows his name) homeless guy in our town. He's become the subject of social studies classes in our high schools. He is apparently schizophrenic or something. He refuses to take the meds prescribed to him. The community (police, among others) watch out for him. He actually has money, I'm told. I've seen him eating in fast food restaurants. I've seen him sleeping on benches and in parks. But, in particularly bad weather, he stays in motels. Weird life, but he does have other choices.
Boomershine, Oct 09 2010

       No man is an Iceland.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 09 2010

       Since the collapse of Iceland's economy they do a lot of window shopping.
infidel, Oct 10 2010

       The 'stalking' aspect of this sounds creepy given that such people are sometimes a target of xenophobic violence. If a person wants to give someone a cash equivalent that can only be exchanged for food, is the card tied to an internet database really needed to accomplish that? The direct benefit to the recipient achieved by sacrificing some anonymity has to be be weighed against the potential downside.
Dan Fakeman, Oct 10 2010


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