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We have launched the NIDUS project, a digital platform that will improve care services for the homeless

Els “Cafès d’Innovació en serveis socials”, nova activitat bimestral d’iSocial

The kick-off meeting of the NIDUS project took place today at the headquarters of the iSocial Foundation in Barcelona, which will develop a platform of digital tools for the homeless and for the social professionals who support and accompany them.

The new NIDUS service, promoted by iSocial, will include a digital platform, accessible from mobile phones and computers, which will offer homeless people a package of technological tools that will make it easier for them to improve their living conditions and their reintegration process into society: a “digital safe” that will allow them to store their documentation in the cloud; a chat system to be able to easily communicate with social professionals who offer them follow-up and support; a map of points of interest, services and resources that can meet your needs; or a system of notifications to receive notices from social NGO and municipal services that support them.

The meeting was attended by professionals responsible for homelessness of four iSocial member entities that will participate in the project (ABD, ATRA Group, Support-Girona and Sant Pere Claver Foundation) and four technicians from the company Multiplica, specialized in the design of digital solutions and mobile technology. In the first phase that has been launched today, there will also be workshops and interviews with homeless people and social professionals, and meetings with three city councils that will collaborate in the project: Barcelona City Council, Girona City Council and City Council of El Prat de Llobregat. Once the digital tools of the new NIDUS service have been developed, it will be experimented with fifty homeless people from these three municipalities, with the support of the municipal social services and the four NGO mentioned.

The NIDUS project was born mainly to respond to the serious problem of the loss of documentation that usually affects homeless people, and the situations of anxiety and mental health disorders that arise from it, as well as the bureaucratic overload that this generates to the social professionals who take care of them. The project is based on the finding that today more than 80% of homeless people in Catalonia have a smartphone, that other international projects have demonstrated the benefits of secure cloud storage of their personal documentation, and that free existing tools for the cloud storage are not suitable for their profile and needs. The storage tool that will be created will be complemented with other digital tools that contribute to improving the living conditions of homeless people and the support work carried out by social professionals, and help their reintegration into society.

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 streets directly or spend the night in hostels but have to spend the rest of the day on the streets. In the city of Barcelona, the number of homeless people sleeping in 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.

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