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I Need Help button wins Housing Hackathon

Published: 9 August 2016

I Need Help button wins Housing Hackathon

Scotland’s first housing crisis hackathon has been won by a team who created an ‘I Need Help’ button to signpost people facing homelessness or bad housing to the nearest available resources that could help them. 

Organised by Shelter Scotland and hosted at Product Forge in Edinburgh, the gathering of 33 computer coders, designers, business people and housing professionals saw seven teams go head-to-head to create new digital solutions to some of Scotland’s most pressing housing issues. 

After two and half a days of digital debate, development and technological trickery the winning team – Acey – created an ‘I Need Help’ button that would use indicators such as time of day and location to point users to the most relevant and available resources for them. 

The standard of creativity was so high that the judging panel decided that a runner-up prize should be awarded – which went to team Xtreme for its creation of an interactive real life story resource, which would take participants though real life situations, made and uploaded by people who had experience of homelessness. 

Teams presented their solutions to a judging panel of local tech leaders, entrepreneurs and housing professionals. Shelter Scotland now intends to further develop two or three of the solutions developed during the hackathon. 

Conrad Rossouw, Digital Manager at Shelter Scotland, said:

“The standard of ideas, creativity and skills was amazing – it was a brilliant weekend and my thanks to everyone who contributed. 

The ‘I Need Help’ button is a great idea and something Shelter Scotland will take forward and add to our website.  We are also looking to use the real life story resource to help raise awareness of homelessness and how it can happen to anyone.” 

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, who was on the judging panel, said:

“I thank all the participants for their commitment and stamina during the hackathon.  It really is humbling that 33 participants would donate an entire weekend of their time to try and do something positive to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

I congratulate all the teams on their solutions – especially teams Acey and Xtreme - and look forward to seeing their ideas in action.”

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