Fundamental challenges of Extreme Poverty revolve around four areas of need: 1- Hunger 2- Inability to Cope with Financial Shocks 3- Preventable Disease and Death 4- Lack of Access to Quality Education for Children

Homeless people are also exposed to violent victimization that adds to the mental health morbidity. Abilities and talents can be tabbed to help homeless people find their own sustainable living. To build a caring society to help homeless people in Pakistan we will need help from Doctors, Engineers, Trainers, Psychologists and Citizens of Pakistan.

According to UNDP report, nearly 39 percent of Pakistanis live in multidimensional poverty, with the highest rates of poverty in FATA and Balochistan. Pakistan’s MPI showed a strong decline, with national poverty rates falling from 55% to 39% from 2004 to 2015. However progress across different regions of Pakistan is uneven. Poverty in urban areas is 9.3 percent as compared to 54.6 percent in rural areas. Disparities also exist across provinces.

An estimated 100 million people are homeless throughout the world, the majority of them women and dependent children whereas at least 600 million people live in shelters that are life threatening in the cities of developing countries.

Every day in every city, hundreds of outreach workers walk the streets checking in on homeless people and collecting information about their health, income, demographics, and history in the shelter system, among other data points. With all this data on smart platform we will get to know this vulnerable population and build trust in the hope of one day eliminating homelessness from World.

Systems used by city agencies and non-profits seldom overlapped, complicating efforts to keep track of individuals. A homeless person might need more than just a bed to get back on his feet. Integrated data is crucial to better understanding the services needed by homeless individuals. Coordinated Entry system will help in bringing this data together.

Outreach workers need to be armed with as much information as possible if they’re going to build trust with Homeless.

What it does

We aim to give city agencies and non-profit groups a comprehensive view of all of the data being collected on homeless in smart cities on a regular basis.

Homeless to Entrepreneur platform will act as decision making tool to enable greater accuracy when measuring homeless residents, knowing their whereabouts and understanding their needs. These details can affect the care given to homeless, determine resource gaps, and provide data that could qualify cities and counties for greater support from federal agencies and philanthropies. This information translates into funding decisions.

Key features of our proposed solution include:

1- Registering and Verifying Homeless cases and Providing them Homeless to Entrepreneur Identity Cards (NFC/QR Code Powered) 2- Engaging Citizens for the cause in a gamified manner to build empathy and encourage to provide support to homeless 3- Backend Management System to Track Support, Machine Learning Challenges and and Smart Decision Making Support to City Governments

How we built it

We used agile approach and worked during hackathon to improve existing work done and take the innovation forward. We built two key applications

Engaging with Citizens - Front End Mobile Application:

  • Beta Version Built in Android
  • New Ideas and Revised UI in Adobe XD

Backend Management system - Outreach Workers / Care Givers/ Govt.

  • We used Python Django Backend with PGSQL Database and GDAL (GIS) Library to Analyze Location Data.
  • We plan to use IBM Watson to analyze Personality traits and identify gaps, Django application was tested but feature had bugs so taken out.
  • We are giving Maps Interface to track things in real time manner.

Challenges we ran into

Game Interfaces are not easy to build. We tried to take gamified approach to build citizen engagement app. We brainstormed whole idea around that. But unfortunately time was very short to execute it better. So ditched that and took plain CRUD based application approach.

We also faced challenges in interfacing mobile application with Backend. we still believe there is room for improvement in terms of Mobile Application performance. As local device storage was not leveraged. And Publish/Subscribe Architecture can easily speed up things.

For API we are currently using Django REST framework but for opening up the API to partners and collaborators, we believe GraphQL will do better. But that is still undiscovered land due to shortage of time during hackathon.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

For homeless people, they will finally have a safe, official digital identity accessible for service and support providers as well as government officials, which will improve the general coordination on a global scale.

AI plays a key role in ending homelessness. We are already testing how to predict a homeless person’s employ ability and learning needs, which will ultimately connect him or her with relevant support groups, so s/he can attain and enhance his or her professional skills and turn dream jobs into a reality.

Secondly, AI is going to be used to measure a homeless person’s mental and emotional health in order to help him or her improve specific factors via self-paced e-learning suggestions. Lastly, it will be used to predict a homeless person’s learning outcomes as well as how much socio-economic education s/he needs to end homelessness for him/herself alongside the community supporting them.

What we learned

We learnt about Sustainable Development Goals indicators in detail for SDG 3,5, 9 and 11. We explored their targets and indicators and tried to map our technology to meet these goals and indicators. We also learnt team building and outreach. Finding the team members wasn't easy and it took a lot of selling skills to make a pitch to team members and encourage them to participate in our cause.

We also learnt, mobile applications must be designed with care and game interfaces should be given time instead of hastily executing them. Mobile application architecture can easily screw up user experience and response times resulting in non usable application.

What's next for Homeless to Entrepreneur

In Next Few Weeks: During next couple of weeks we will be having mutliple design sessions to improve our gamified interface to help bring citizens, reporters and homeless together.

In Two Months: we plan to launch and publish our solution for at least two city governments and empower citizens to contribute more, reporters to gather accurate/authentic data and homeless to explore their talents and get off the roads.

In One Year: We will have deep learning capabilities within platform and it will be actively used to seek support in case anyone is homeless anywhere in world.

In 5 years time: We plan to make considerable improvements and progress toward SDGs 3 and 11.

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