Where can I sleep tonight?: Finding Shelters for Homeless

We use Alexa to find available shelters for homeless in Washington DC.

In our vision Smart Cities should give a voice to its most vulnerable, forgotten residents. By having strategically located Echo devices in the city, our Alexa skill would connect Homeless to social services, empowering Homeless to interact with local goverment and providing local goverments with data on homeless issues.

Use case Scenario:

  • Finding a place to sleep
  • User is a Homeless person walking down the street

User: Alexa, ask smart city Alexa: I can help you finding a place to sleep tonight User: Where can I sleep tonight? / find me a shelter Alexa: The nearest available shelter location is XXX, located at street Y.

Why using Alexa?

  • A voice interface might have a psychological positive impact, making homeless feel heard
  • Screens are fragile

Data on Shelters comes from Open Data repository https://hub.arcgis.com/datasets?q=shelter%20homeless&source=City%20of%20Washington%2C%20DC

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