A support platform that empowers people without a home to move forward
What is the Challenge?
Food. A bed. A stove. A door that locks. People experiencing homelessness are in a vicious circle. Homelessness and poverty wastes people’s potential, depriving the society and economy of the skills and talents of those who have valuable contributions to make. Financial support can go a long way in increasing sustainability for people in need, but how do we help homeless people find their way home?
What is the Solution?
US-based Samaritan is a support platform that provides social and financial support to people experiencing homelessness. By partnering with local health systems, shelters and non-profits, “Samaritan Memberships” are handed out to homeless people in need. Members get a smart wallet, developed by the Samaritan team, and share their story, explain their specific needs and together with their local care partner (a Samaritan) set an action plan to reach housing and health goals. Local communities, corporations, and faith groups are all invited to support Samaritan Members on their journeys to home, with focus on building margin and capacity to reach the life goals. Via the digital wallets, individuals and organizations join a Member’s team of supporters, and invest time and or money to help the Member. Support could be for example sending messages of encouragement, providing in-kind support, and contributions to specific financial needs. The Samaritan smart wallet can also be used to store critical documents such as work permits, licenses, social security cards, etc. Once a month, the Members meet with nonprofit counselors.
The estimated cost of one homeless person in the US is USD 19,000 per year, and there are approximately half a million homeless people in the US. So far, over 1,000 Members have been helped by the Samaritan support. 97 percent of the Members who have had more than 12 active Samaritans on their team for 12 months have had life-changing outcomes in housing, health or employment.