The Homelessness Panel aims to assist those who are homeless, or at danger of being so, through initiatives to increase digital inclusion and by supporting homelessness charities. IT has long been necessary to help people get off the streets and find work. But nowadays an online identity is required even to claim any benefits, so digital inclusion has become a matter of basic subsistence for those most at need in society.
The Panel’s origins were in the Thames Reach Working Group. Thames Reach is a large London based homelessness charity that the WCIT formed a relationship with in 2014. Since then, WCIT has been providing charitable funds for implementing technology and digital skills training to support the rehabilitation of homeless clients back into work. WCIT has made donations to aid the role out of Wi-Fi and technology to five supported housing projects, and the provision of a digital skills worker.
This has led to many individual success stories and buoyed by this, the working group aspired to broaden the scope and widen our impact. Therefore, the new Homelessness Panel works with London based charities, and beyond, to access pro bono support on specific needs but also runs regular events with speakers on topics around homelessness and technology.
We aim to act as a catalyst for the creation of new ideas and facilitation of inter-charity cooperation related to IT. In addition, we wish to leverage other panels and working groups within WCIT and beyond to deliver skills, capabilities, and practical support to homelessness charities. Through them, and with the invigorated Government approach to homelessness, we hope to make a real and lasting difference to many people’s lives.
Always looking for new ideas and contributors.