CASA

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Uploaded by Dharmayu Desai in Mississauga
Region: Peel District School Board      Category:
School Name: Glenforest Secondary School

CASA provides a jumpstart to helping the homeless by helping outreach teams deliver aid to the people in areas that need it most. CASA is an application based platform developed to give citizens in the community the power to notify homeless outreach teams which areas of cities need the most help, allowing outreach programs to optimize their system for delivering supplies and aid to those in need. This will ensure that these efforts are efficient and effective, creating the biggest positive impact on our communities and their citizens.

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In 2013, Toronto had a homeless population of 5000. Today, Toronto’s homeless population continues to grow. Homelessness is caused by 3 main reasons, Structural Factors such as income where many can’t keep up with the economy, System Failure such as hard transitions where many need some aid to move on, and Individual & Relational Factors such as personal health, or trauma where they can’t keep up with their deteriorating health. After facing these issues, they end up on the streets where they experience long bouts of homelessness. They are forced to panhandle and are deprived of daily necessities. On the occasion, they may be given food, or receive food from a soup kitchen, but this is not sustainable for them. The problem with the current homeless aid system is that when certain shelters are full, there are others that are less than half full and go unused. Many blame a lack of communication for this problem, while others claim the homeless wish to remain on the streets. However, it was found that over 90% of homeless people want permanent housing, they just need a jumpstart to get out of the homeless cycle. Currently they have no jumpstart to transition, they don’t have a consistent food supply, nor daily necessities. All leading to 40% having a drug problem. My name is Humza and I am the founder of CASA, an application to help outreach workers connect with those most in need. CASA is made up of a user end, and receiving end, where the user can mark the location of a homeless person, and outreach workers can better aid that person. As you walk by a person in need, a simple click of a button on your phone screen allows for you to lend a helping hand. This is done by incorporating geo-location tagging, from which the information is also transferred to a heat map for outreach. The target user market for CASA consists of TPS, given there are over 2,000 officers on the streets anytime, Security Firms of Commercial Real Estate Corporations in downtown and the 9-5 worker aged 30-60, as they are twice as likely to aid in a charitable cause than other ages. Why Now? So why now? Toronto’s homeless population is ever growing, however in the tech filled society we live in today, a simple click of a button can go a long way for helping one in need. Oftentimes you pass by them and spare change, however that is not a sustainable effort for you nor them. With the better allocation of resources, your helping hand will not cost anything. Why Me? As the founder of CASA, I bring the experience of the STEM fields, I am an experienced programmer working with my school STEM team, I bring the experience of social work, and working with organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters. Additionally, I have a great advisory council consisting of my mentors Asad, Jake and Michael. Future Steps: Our future steps are to partner with a government run initiative Streets To Homes, which directly deals with outreach work and also work with larger networks of organizations such as A Way Home and TAEH who have expressed interest in CASA. Homelessness is an ever growing problem, it's time to make change to this problem.

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