San Francisco is a lively city there is no doubt. From art, startups, idea hubs, culture it truly is a city one can grow to love without effort. But there is a glowing problem that can be changed; an estimated 7,000 – 10,000 people are homeless of which 3,000 – 5,000 do not live with shelter. Grassroots solutions and city help is available, but the change necessary to make impact cat be even more apparent.
Rose Broome and co-founder Zac Witte have created Handup, a platform to help those that need a helping hand. The site shares profiles of families and individuals homeless in San Francisco—with a text messaging service to let anyone donate easily to them.
Each profile page feels very much like a crowdfunding site, but with a much more impactful product—a chance to change someone’s life that really needs it. The site shares a homeless individual’s story, like that of Alvin whom was hit by a car causing him to lose his teeth. As someone that loves to smile he no longer feels confident enough to do so nor can afford the dental fees to help bring his smile back. Alvin attained his goal of $600 to make his life a little better, but there are many other homeless individuals that need our help, like Kimberly. Kimberly is also homeless but needs financial help to get clothes on her and her son’s back along with educational toys.
Once donations are made they are redeemed at Project Homeless Connect in exchange for what’s needed to move forward. The idea to us comes from a great place; a place of wanting to help the homeless, but also begs the question, is this the best way? Doesn’t having each homeless person create a profile to promote himself or herself to ask for donations seem a bit counter-productive? None the less Handup is bringing awareness to homelessness in San Francisco, which should be applauded, allowing all of us to better understand what’s causing these situations to occur and hopefully can spur more ideas amongst the startup community to build change in every community.