App For The Homeless Will Help Map Outreach Need

Last month, a new application called ‘Amicus‘ launched a public beta version for free use on the Google Play Store. The app is called ‘Amicus – Friend in Need’ and seeks to map out where homeless individuals or encampments can be observed throughout the Southern California area.

Amicus – Social Work Engineering Labs

Many places of business, residents and community members of various Southern California cities need a centralized place for spotting and reporting people in need of substance abuse or mental health services. Their frustration is that they are not able to provide help to homeless individuals who they may see frequently within their community spaces. As a result, a need to document and map where ‘friends in need’, as the application would like for us to reference the homeless community, becomes the one and most important thing many affected communities can do.

Homeless Individuals Are Often Victimized Due To Isolation

Due to the nature of homelessness, encampments can move over a short period of time. Even within a few days of being identified, homeless individuals in need can disappear and not be found until a significant personal need or addiction related ailment forces them to surface. Most homeless individuals suffer in silence and isolation, but encampments offers the semblance of community unified through shared pain.

Unfortunately, most crimes against homeless individuals are committed by members of their encampment or other homeless individuals adjacent. Thus, while we should always encourage the development of community, two individuals suffering from substance abuse can only provide one another with so much positive support.

Amicus – Demo App

Mapping the location of encampments can help outreach workers be more efficient. It can also create a historical log so that government workers can justify additional resources or intervention. Documenting mobile individuals while also providing context for other service providers will help facilitate individuals with substantial barriers for entry into government sponsored rehabilitation.