Innovation projects

NIDUS, platform of digital tools at the service of the homeless

Project to develop a platform of digital tools for the homeless and for the social workers who support and accompany them.

The new NIDUS service, promoted by iSocial and its member NGO, is based on a digital platform, accessible from smartphones and computers, which offers homeless people a package of technological tools that facilitate the improvement of their living conditions and of their process of reintegration into society: a “digital safe” that allows them to save their documentation in the cloud; a chat system to easily communicate with social professionals who offer follow-up and support; a map of the points of interest, services and resources that can respond to your needs; and a notification system to receive notices from NGO and municipal services that support them.

Photo: Unsplash

NIDUS ‘main digital tool is the Digital Safe, which allows a digital copy of the most important documentation to be safely stored in the cloud, and which at the same time serves to carry out administrative procedures. Given that the project was born mainly to respond to the serious problem of the loss of documentation that regularly affects these people, the anxiety situations and mental health disorders that arise, and the bureaucratic overload that this generates. the social professionals who attend them. To resolve this, the project starts from the verification that today more than 80% of homeless people in Catalonia have a mobile phone, that other international projects have demonstrated the benefits of safe keeping their personal documentation in the cloud, and that the existing free cloud storage tools are not suitable for your profile and needs.

It is estimated that in Catalonia there are 53,118 people who suffer from a situation of homelessness, of which 5,571 people live on the street directly or spend the night in shelters but have to spend the rest of the day on the street. In the city of Barcelona, the number of homeless people who sleep on public and private resources that exist in the city has doubled in 12 years, and the number of people living in settlements has grown by 93% since 2015.

Today, social and residential exclusion is part of digital exclusion, and vice versa. Several studies have also shown the potential of digital inclusion in homeless people: physical and mental health, access to support networks, decreased victimization, breaking relational barriers …

On the one hand, the loss of vital documentation (identity, administrative, work, family…) by the homeless and other people with a high vulnerability, is a chronic problem that involves a lot of bureaucratic burden in the social NGO and the public social services that attend to them. It is estimated that social professionals should spend 20-30% of their time caring for the homeless to collect or retrieve their documentation, and this bureaucratic burden forces them to reduce the time spent on social support. In addition, the loss of documentation and its consequences is one of the main causes of anxiety and mental disorders in the homeless community.

On the other hand, the situation of high vulnerability and social exclusion of homeless people involves a great deal of complexity in their care, support and accompaniment by social workers from NGO and municipal services.

NIDUS is a platform of digital tools that provides solutions adapted to the needs, characteristics and capabilities of the homeless, and that has been designed with their participation, and that of social workers from four specialized NGO: ABD, ATRA Group, Support-Girona and Sant Pere Claver Foundation. Subsequently, NIDUS has been tested in pilots carried out in the cities of Barcelona, Girona and El Prat de Llobregat, with the collaboration of the municipal social services of these three cities.

Objectives

  • Empower homeless people or with a high social vulnerability through their training and digital inclusion.
  • To offer a preventive tool to the homeless people or with a high social vulnerability, that contributes to solve their basic needs related to the documentation, the security and the administrative access to resources and services, and to avoid the situations of anxiety and mental disorder they often suffer from due to loss of documentation.
  • To improve the efficiency of public social services and social NGO in the care of the homeless and in the administrative procedures related to their reintegration into society.

 

Features

  • Easy access, multilingual and with the help of icons
  • High level of security
  • Private, for the exclusive use of users and in accordance with RGPD
  • Not associated with any email account
  • Accessible from both smartphone and computer
  • Nothing is lost if the user changes smartphone or runs out
  • Fingerprint to recover the password and prevent impersonation

Partners:

In collaboration with:

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