LONDON, July 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
A new app to help the 80,000 young people who experience homelessness each year 'check out' of hostels and into independent living is competing for a £500,000 grant from technology giant Google after the project, proposed by youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, was named a finalist in the Google UK Impact Challenge.
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Centrepoint, which works with 6,000 homeless 16-25 year-olds each year, is already guaranteed to receive £200,000 towards creating the first national database on youth homelessness and its causes. With the additional funding, Centrepoint would create an alumni community of former youth homelessness service users, accessed via an app. Analysing the information would allow Centrepoint to determine for the first time the most effective methods of support for young people in different regions of the UK, giving them the best chance of leaving homelessness behind for good.
Centrepoint's project is now competing with proposals from nine other UK charities on how they would change the world through innovative technology. Four winners will see their grant increased to £500,000: one decided by public vote, three selected by a judging panel including BBC Dragon Peter Jones CBE and inventor of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales. The winners will be announced at a final event at Google's UK headquarters on Thursday 31st July.
Currently there is no effective UK-wide method of tracking the outcomes for those who have accessed youth homelessness services. Data collected by the app from formally homeless young people will ensure their peers facing the issue receive tailored support to turn their lives around.
Centrepoint is urging people to vote for the project before 30 July: https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/uk2014/charity/centrepoint
Nicholas Connolly, Head of Corporate Development at Centrepoint, said: "There's fantastic work going on to tackle youth homelessness across the country but, we need to understand what's working and why, if we're to end youth homelessness.
"Through the app we aim to analyse the most in depth data on youth homelessness ever collated, discovering why they become homeless and the interventions most likely to lead them to a successful independent future.
"It's a massive undertaking, so please help by voting. This project will help us ensure we can target the generous donations we receive to where they will have the greatest impact on helping young people turn their lives around.
About Google Impact Challenge
- You can keep up to speed on the Impact Challenge, and access a wide range of materials on the Google Impact Challenge Press Site.
- The Google Impact Challenge was born in the UK in 2013, and is now returning after contests in India, Brazil and the Bay Area of San Francisco. The Australia edition has also just been announced.
- Nesta are supporting Google's Impact Challenge, and ACEVO will also be providing support and mentorship to applicants.
- Centrepoint is the leading charity for homeless young people aged 16-25.
- Centrepoint supports 6,000 homeless young people a year.
- It provides accommodation-based and floating support services in London and the North of England. These include emergency night shelters and accommodation-based short stay services, as well as specialist services for care leavers, ex-offenders, young single parents, foyers and supported flats.
- Centrepoint's work is about more than just providing a safe bed for the night; Centrepoint helps young people to turn their lives around by gaining essential life skills; tackling their physical and mental health issues and moving into education or employment.
- Through policy work, Centrepoint aims to influence public policy, campaigning on behalf of the young people it supports and homeless young people throughout the UK.
- Founded in 1969, Centrepoint has helped more than 95,000 homeless young people.
- HRH The Duke of Cambridge became Centrepoint's Patron in 2005.
For more information, please visit http://www.centrepoint.org.uk
SOURCE Centrepoint, The Youth Homelessness Charity