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The app enables members of the public to alert the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) to the location of anyone sleeping rough, allowing outreach teams to rapidly make contact and provide support and services.
Using the Dublin Rough Sleeper Alerts app, members of the public can now provide the outreach teams with an exact location of the person who is sleeping rough. Previously, rough sleeper alerts from the public to the DRHE were made via a phone number or an online form. Improving this process was identified by the DRHE as a key challenge. The new app now compliments those existing alert channels. Dublin Simon Community, on behalf of the DRHE, currently operate outreach services, which provide on-street support for people sleeping rough. These teams are working on the streets, 365 days a year from early morning to late each night, engaging with people who are sleeping on the streets and helping them avail of emergency accommodation. The Dublin Rough Sleeper Alerts app provides greater accuracy on location, enabling the teams to get to the specific location quicker.
The app was initially designed by a team of Microsoft Ireland volunteers as part of the company’s annual Hackathon. Over the course of several months, the DRHE, Smart Dublin, Microsoft, Dublin City Council IS Dept. and Ultan Technologies further developed the app. The app is currently being trialled for six months in Dublin with a view to extended usage and potentially being made available in other Irish cities.
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