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    Date submitted
  • 04-Dec-2017

Solinum

Abstract

What if we used technologies for the greater good ?

Solinum's goal is to use digital for homeless people and refugees to access their basic needs, find shelter, and ultimately reintegrate.

For this, we develop two platforms : Infomeless and Merci pour l'invit' (thanks for the invitation)

Infomeless is a crowdsourced plateform that informs homeless and refugees about all the available help : where to eat, to shower, to rest, etc.

Merci pour l'invit' (thank for the invitation) is the "homeless people's airbnb" where people that want to provide shelter and people looking for a shelter will be able to meet safely.

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Our beneficiaries are homeless people, refugees, poor students, etc. Our customers are big cities and organizations that work with homelessness.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Solinum tackles two major issues in the social sector : the lack of information, and the lack of emergency shelter. In France, there are more than 140 000 homeless people sleeping rough, and more and more refugees that live in scarce conditions. More than 40% of homeless people don't receive any help, often because of a lack of information. Through years-long of volunteering work with homeless people, we found out that information was extremely valuable as a practical ressource, but also as a empowering one. Yet, charities play a big role and are trying their best to help people in need. We want to bring efficiency to the social sector by centralizing all the useful information about nearby aid and charities. A common saying is that "knowledge is power" : we want to empower people by giving them this power. On top of the lack of information, there is a plain lack of housing solution. Over the last month, 57% of calls to the 115 (emergency number to find a shelter for the night) ended without any solution, because of the overwhelming saturation of emergency shelters. We found out that some people were fighting this, by opening their door to homeless people. However, those amazing people felt alone as nobody was accompagnying them. We propose to develop Merci pour l'invit', the airbnb for homeless people. People in need of shelter, with the help of a social worker, will be able to sign up to the platform and meet safely with people willing to provide shelter for the night, the month or even the year. Thanks to a survey on hundreds of participants, we found out that 37% of people would provide shelter for a homeless person, and 52% were open to it with appropriate safety measures. We would thus provide both the platform to meet, and the coaching needed for both the host and the guest.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

The main key success is that we work for, and with, all the stakeholders. Our solution is validated by charities and homeless people themselves, that were consulted through every step of our projects. Our core values are Efficiency and Empowerement, and we strive to apply them everyday. Furthermore, we offer digital solutions on multiple devices in order to comply with the heterogeneous needs. We develop our solutions on web, on mobile and on interactive kiosks placed on the street for everyone to use.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Our team is diverse in every way, except one : we all have a strong experience in volunteering and homeless relief. Thanks to this experience, we are able to understand underlying issues and connect them to the new possibilities given by the digital.