NKU students develop app to assist homeless

New app helps homeless (VIDEO)

NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) - A new app is aiming to help the local homeless community in need of services. Its services could help the homeless beat the heat during the hottest summer days.

You may have walked by someone on the street who was homeless, and wondered how you could help without giving money. Well, help is only a tap away.

The  app was developed by Northern Kentucky University students from the University's Center for Applied Informatics. They are hoping to help the homeless connect with needed services.

President and CEO of the organization Kevin Finn  calls it "strategies to end homelessness." The group services the app, finding help for those in need.

"Most of the services are really focused on trying to get people back into housing what we really wanted to do is get people engaged in services," said Finn.

The way the "Street Reach" app works is by allowing you to type in an address where you see someone who's in need. You can type in a description of the person's location, a description of the person in need, along with adding any defining features… for example tattoos and hair. This prompts a response of help.

Finn says his outreach workers have a regular presence in the urban core, which means they can find those in need quicker.

"If a person was on the street sleeping under a bridge or in a park in an outlying area it might be weeks before we found out about them and could offer them services," said Finn.

The organization works in partnership with 30 homeless providers.

Scott Trammell knows the pains of being out on the street. He's been homeless for two years.

I've been out here for a little while and I've done at least two winters and its brutal during the weather changes," said Trammell.

FOX19 NOW told Trammell about the app and he wrote down the information on a piece of cardboard. He says he has a phone.

The app also allows the homeless to seek help for themselves.

"The app seems pretty decent. You showed it to me. I'm going to have to get on it and take a look….but if they are willing to actually help people get back on their feet, the ones that want to, it's a good app.

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