Unhoused

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Unhoused.org is a social impact start-up launched in November 2018 and based in London, UK. It is a non-profit organisation that focuses on using technology and innovation to alleviate the sufferings of the homeless.

Overview[edit]

Unhoused aims to solve problems for the homeless through the use of technology. Currently, it runs an online shop and enables donations through its buy one, give one model. The organisation also manufactures clothing engineered for people on the street.[1] [2]

Activities[edit]

The organisation facilitates donation to the homeless through a project called StreetWear - an online shop that sells winter clothing and supplies.[3] It operates on a One for one (business model) where for every purchase made on the platform, a matching donation is made to homeless people in London. Through its website, it sells winter supplies like blankets, jumpers, socks, gloves, etc. with the objective of donating equivalent, brand new items to make winters on the streets more bearable[4].

Unhoused.org has also launched self-cleaning hoodies and jumpers, especially designed to repel dirt, liquid and stains.[5] [6] The start-up has developed its own proprietary Freshtech™ nanotechnology, which creates a Lotus Effect. Water and liquid beads off the surface of clothes without soaking through which keeps the fabric dry. [7] Aimed at making it more sustainable and low maintenance for rough use on the streets, the clothing is made from 100% polyester[8] and is claimed to dry 40 per cent faster than regular clothing and doesn't need to be washed for a month.[9] [10] [11] For each of such an item bought on their online shop, one is donated to the homeless. [12]

In addition to clothing and winter supplies, the website hosts essentials like sanitary kits, haircuts, dental kits, and mobile phone top-ups that can be donated directly to a homeless individual. [13] [14] [15] The platform distributes the items through its partner charities like Spitalfields Crypt Trust, The Salvation Army, and Sewa UK. Lack of transparency in donations and potential misuse of cash are issues that make people unwilling to make cash donations. The website enables buyers to track their donations to individual recipients. The charity claimed to have made 1500 donations within the first 3 months of its launch. [16] with more than 100,000 items of clothing distributed till December 2019 [17]. Unhoused shares photos, videos of items donated through the website, social media posts, emails and messages from the final recipients of the donations with its customers. [18] This allows customers on the platform to get a sense of the on-ground impact of their donations. [19]

According to its website the average purchase from the website is around £23 [20] compared to the median donation of £10 that goes for the cause of helping homeless people and housing shelters. [21] The charity aims to develop technology solutions to help the homeless crisis in the UK and expand internationally.[22]

Founded by Varun Bhanot and Anisha Seth, the start-up also plans to set up a digital bank for the homeless with the objective of their financial inclusion. [23] [24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Why Unhoused?". Unhoused.org. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  2. ^ Connolly, Stephen (2020-01-08). "From barrister to broadcaster: other ways to use your law degree". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  3. ^ "Meet the digital tech companies helping during Christmas time".
  4. ^ "How to help the homeless at Christmas, from donating warm clothes to volunteering at a shelter". The Independent.
  5. ^ "Just giving: The high-tech ways to donate and help London's homeless population". Evening Standard.
  6. ^ "The world's first 'self-cleaning' jumper has been unveiled".
  7. ^ "A self-cleaning hoodie developed for the homeless".
  8. ^ "Tackling The Homelessness Crisis Through Business".
  9. ^ "Spilling the beans about 'world's first self-cleaning jumper'".
  10. ^ "The World's First 'Self-Cleaning Jumper' Is Here Just In Time For Christmas Parties".
  11. ^ "'World's First Self-Cleaning' Hoodie is On Sale—And for Each One Bought, One is Donated to the Homeless".
  12. ^ Issue, The Big. "The Big Issue Shop - Shopping with a social echo". Big Issue Store. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  13. ^ "The startups using tech to tackle homelessness". Cambridge Judge Business School. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  14. ^ "How tech tackles homelessness". Asian Voice. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  15. ^ "Unhoused.org: a new way to help London's homeless". Time Out Group. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  16. ^ "Unhoused: The online shop that helps homeless people battle the cold in London". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Tackling The Homelessness Crisis Through Business".
  18. ^ "How tech is being used to combat homelessness". Charity Digital News. 2020-01-09. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  19. ^ "'People want to know they have impacted someone's life': the startups using tech to tackle homelessness". The Independent. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Varun Bhanot & Anisha Seth, Founders, unhoused.org". London On The Inside. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  21. ^ "An overview of charitable giving in the UK" (PDF). Charities Aid Foundation. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  22. ^ Sanchez, Maricel. "5 promising European startups tackling the effects of poverty | EU-Startups". Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  23. ^ "Unhoused: The online shop that helps homeless people battle the cold in London". Evening Standard. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  24. ^ "BHANOT, Varun & Anisha". Asian Power Couples. Retrieved 2020-02-03.

External links[edit]