Homelessness is much more than the absence of physical housing to helping professionals. It is about providing roots, security, and a sense of belonging and identity where they call home. It is about keeping people on the verge of becoming homeless because living on the streets they are more vulnerable to abuse and criminalization. It is about finding people suitable for housing to reduce the possibility of relapse or the fear of victimization after sleeping overnight in temporary shelters. Being homeless is a reminder that the “American way of life” is built on oppression and income inequality, which impoverishes the masses but provides the accumulation of wealth at the hands of so few.
The gaps between the rich and the poor are vast in areas of extreme poverty. Technology has become more affordable, internet access seems increasingly available, but the digital divide between rich and poor remains a serious issue. The deprivation of technology makes it nearly impossible to achieve a more just and equitable world for those living on the streets. Unless concerted efforts are taken to close the digital divide, many Americans– particularly those that are poor and of color- – will continue to miss economic opportunities to improve dire life circumstance.
The importance of quality applications with client specifications to address this problem cannot be overlooked. Further investment in technology access and education for the homeless can help the homeless find greater opportunities to improve accessibility to jobs, housing, social connectivity, and safety while living on the streets.