The article below is from CEDA who are seeking to disrupt the homeless. They speak of disrupting disadvantage but what of the disadvantage of disruption?
My own feedback given I am homeless as below as a brief introduction.
In my view as a homeless person, the causes of homelessness is a economic system that entrenches inequality through access via how much money you have. Those who do not have the money cannot access housing, events, toll roads, quality food and on and on it goes. Crisis happens in people’s lives. Most of the socio-emotional crisis is due to the breakdown of the family due to economic pressures and a lack of socio-emotional intelligence at the highest levels. There needs to be research done on the mental health issues of those who disconnect from calls for help. I often speak about ‘home is where the heart is’, this is about social inclusion, non judgement, valuing the person for who they are not what they have (or status) and disadvantage structurally created via income and status. It is a problem that is global in scale. The real issue with homelessness is the endless writing about it but lack of personal action to really address inequality in terms of how and who we value. That is a key issue.
We can speak of seeing differently, creating a homeless centred system, digital disruption. The latter in my view is very problematic and my alarm bells go off when I hear the word ‘smart’ or ‘disruption’ as a means of completely reforming a system in favour of corporate interests in public/private partnerships who seeks to gain access to taxpayer revenue that is typically part of the risk in projects. The digital side is very concerning due to: tracking, profiling, locating (geographically), data gathering (private interests) and the EMF issues with microwaves, phones and 5G coming (cell towers at eye level). I am a market analyst and I am not for a market based system overlayed on top of a government service provision system that was delivered at cost and based in egalitarianism (all have access, unconditional welfare). As welfare has become conditional (job related) whereby they must be on Centrelink to be able to access homeless services, we witness exclusion as a result of no pay no access. In the digital reality they do not have a democratic framework with access digitally, it is about reading terms and conditions and you must agree for access. The IT mentality is not based on democracy it is a system that gathers data, is conditional and the actual technology itself becomes part of the massive disconnect socio-emotionally whereby people plug into their devices and walk past the homeless on the street. They become emotionally distant, communities breakdown as they no longer chat to each other and people do not make eye contact. The breakdown of community is a major issue and this is directly related to the world of work and business as usual where people have more and more demands placed on them, they face higher costs of living and this creates stress, anger and disengagement.
I have felt directly the stigma, the social isolation, the digital impersonal and being forced to go online or use mobiles which reduces social and personal contact. Homeless people are alienated, the disruption will cause suicides. I know I’ve been there.
I have concerns using: Infoxchange
, in partnership with Google, realestate.com.au and News Corp Australia, created Ask Izzy
as they have vested interests.
The ethics are a critical issue refer to following links:
Full story: https://kangaroocourtofaustralia.com/2015/12/13/rupert-murdochs-news-corp-caught-bribing-australian-crown-prosecutor-for-news-stories/
Infoexchange – the article below is written by the CEO. he is driving digital transformation in the homelessness area.
Realestate.com.au – they could donate a percentage of their excessive income to build ecovillages so that the homeless can live in sustainable and cost/effective dwellings.
I am looking to see who really cares. So far I am not convinced that anyone does. I hear a lot of impressive lip service but in my experience not one has got involved to actually assist me. You have to go through processes, no-one checks on you nor deeply feels concern. I feel it is a business and like all businesses corporate social responsibility builds brand image and looks like they are caring when the very business model disconnects people from their humanity. Given my own hardship my scepticism has expanded.
The homeless services are not available to those of us NOT on Centrelink and in the system. I am a conscientious objector to corruption. Technology enabled my phone to be tracked due to illegal robodebt, less face to face contact, no empathy – diagnosis of cancer ignored, disclosures of suicide not responded to and an inability to opt out of a system that is toxic. Welfare is no longer about social security it is about job. Social security was a safety net and overtime ideological economic rationalist dispositions have shifted this Constitutional right to conditional welfare to work. the demonization of the most vulnerable has been a trend overtime due to the unquestioned belief in economics. This is proving problematic as the ecosystem has become unbalanced and our future uncertain.
The workplace is toxic as more reports of bullying, indifference, psychological abuse, sexual harassment and claims for entitlements are removed by legislation, deunionisation and shifting philosophies in government. Hence, the balance of power shifts to industry and has been occurring since the 1970s, intensifying in the 1980s and embedding in 1990’s and so on.
Disruption brings in automation (labour saving) and artificial intelligence (intelligent computing power) as unemployment rises. The disruption we will witness is a divided society based on those complying with the system and profit maximisation and those who can’t comply, see differently or structurally miss out due to lower or incompatible qualifications, age, technology illiteracy and so on. They will witness automation replacing workers (lower skills) and gradually the number of homeless will grow alongside negative attitudes of ‘you made your bed’, ‘get a job’ or ‘useless eaters’ as justification for missing out given the disruption that served the few over the many. Disruption is about a technocracy not a deeply human connected society where we develop our humanity, community and freedoms using technology as a tool rather than a master. The intelligent use of technologies to map our lives is a massive breach of privacy and it is interesting to watch how others fall into line as the government backs it. Yet we are learning more of technocrats and industry insiders becoming parliamentarians and accessing positions where they can restructure or ‘reform’ our society into a digital motherboard as mothers become single and homeless. I see the future. I am in the future now looking back. I have already felt disconnection due to freedom of speech and emotional disconnect due to over intellectualisation and loss of community and felt empathy. Until children are educated in values and experience learning where they learn to deeply connect, respect and become empowered in conflict resolution, dialogue, democratic principles we will continue down a trajectory where violent video games are fun, movies have no story just violence and the mental health issues rise as a results of negativity, isolation and felt homelessness (even with houses) as they feel there is no love or meaning. This is the real disruption under the veil of ‘transformation’ in my view. I predict it won’t work as IT is about money not love. That is my prediction.
This is my observation after two years of homelessness without any real support. I wonder – will you listen to my voice or see it as a threat to an agenda that states ‘you have no choice – comply’. That is the very attitude that leaves people on the street and dismantles democracy.
Following the release of Disrupting disadvantage: setting the scene
, CEDA is releasing a series of articles from leading thinkers in the field that explore different aspects of disadvantage in Australia. Infoxchange CEO, David Spriggs, discusses how Infoxchange is using technology and cross-sector collaboration to reduce housing insecurity.
Homelessness is a widespread and deeply rooted problem in Australia. On any given night, over 116,000 Australians do not have a place to call home.
The people sleeping rough on our streets are only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, only seven per cent of people experiencing homelessness sleep rough, with the remainder sleeping in overcrowded rooming houses, couches, cars, or other temporary accommodation.
Breaking the cycle of disadvantage and solving homelessness will require us to think differently about the problem. We need to look beyond the immediate issue and consider the complex causes of homelessness, including family violence, mental health issues, financial distress and the lack of affordable housing.
We need to think about homelessness in the broader community context and acknowledge that addressing the issue will require investments in education, health and housing. We also need to rethink the service system – putting the person in need at the centre and designing services so they are easier to navigate, take a more holistic approach to people’s needs and focus more on early intervention and prevention.
Technology and data can enable these much-needed reforms. Just as digital disruption has taken hold in the consumer and commercial sector, technology can be leveraged as a force for social good. We should also not assume that governments and the not-for-profit sector can solve these problems alone. We can leverage the skills and experience of the private sector in technology and data and collaborate across sectors to drive further progress.
The following case studies highlight some examples where cross-sector collaboration, digital disruption and innovation improved outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. We hope they can encourage a different way of thinking about how to tackle disadvantage and the use of technology to enable positive social change.
Navigating the service system across Australia
We know that navigating the social services support system in Australia can be incredibly difficult and frustrating for people in need.
For someone experiencing or at risk of homelessness, not knowing which services are available, where they are or how they can help just adds to what is already an extremely stressful situation. That’s why Infoxchange, in partnership with Google, realestate.com.au and News Corp Australia, created Ask Izzy – a mobile website to help people quickly and easily find the help they need.
Eighty per cent of people of experiencing homelessness have a smartphone. While they are often using pre-paid phones with no credit, it is a critical lifeline and many will access free wifi services to stay online. Ask Izzy connects these users to over 360,000 services nationally to find housing, food, money help, counselling, legal advice, health services and more.
From the outset, Ask Izzy was designed and developed with people with lived experienced of homelessness and service providers working in the sector. It was clear that in order to empower Ask Izzy’s users we would need to take the time to fully understand their needs. What kind of services would they search for? What categories would they like to see? What sort of language should be used? How should the site look and feel?
As a result of this careful design process, Ask Izzy has seen enormous usage since it was launched nearly four years ago – in the past year alone, there have been more than 1.5 million searches for help on the site. While it’s sad to see that so many people need this help, the tool is clearly responding to the needs of the community.
It is also a great example of cross-sector collaboration. In addition to the founding partners, over 20 organisations have contributed directly to the development of Ask Izzy, including the Victorian Government, Telstra, National Australia Bank, Vodafone and the University of Melbourne.
Taking a more holistic approach to housing needs in Tasmania
Housing Connect is a Tasmanian Government initiative to provide a one-stop shop for all housing and support needs for people in need across the state. A single assessment is used for everything from emergency accommodation to finding a long-term home.
Service providers use the Specialist Homelessness Information Platform (SHIP), a client and case management system developed by Infoxchange in partnership with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, which supports more than 1500 homelessness services across Australia.
The platform gives services an easy way to record and manage client data, enables service coordination, and ensures clients experiencing homelessness can be provided with support in a timely manner. Housing Tasmania further customised the platform to implement a common assessment tool, enable sharing of client data amongst service providers and integrate with core housing systems.
The integration of SHIP with Tasmania’s housing register has resulted in a dramatic difference in understanding client pathways – from seeking assistance to being housed – across all housing and homelessness services in Tasmania. This visibility enables Housing Tasmania to focus on reporting client outcomes rather than simply counting service activity.
Most important of all, it means that people in need of housing receive a better level of service because everyone is working together to improve their housing outcomes.
Using data to improve services for people most in need
Data can be an incredibly powerful tool for better understanding the causes and effective responses to homelessness.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has recently launched a Housing Data Dashboard, which brings together 20 key national datasets to provide insights on housing and homelessness. The interactive displays allow users to dig deeper into the data contained in the dashboards and export or share information.
The Ask Izzy Open Data Platform, developed by Infoxchange in partnership with Google, provides users with data on what services are being searched for and where through the Ask Izzy website. This means that for the first time in Australia, service providers and policymakers are now able to see where people most need help. With this information, they can better tailor support to people in need based on where the service demand is coming from.
Ultimately, we need to move towards a more real-time and predictive view of service demand to improve outcomes for people in need. This will enable us to better respond to the complex issues associated with homelessness and help break the cycle of disadvantage.