Employment Opportunities for Homeless in America

HCI | Design | ICTD

This project aims to understand the unemployment scenario among the homeless and suggest ways to improve employability and make employment opportunities more accessible. Our user research comprised of various interviews conducted in class and homeless shelters. The design constantly evolved with our research and experience from the interviews.

We conducted a brainstorming session and framed a set of questions for our classmates to answer which would enable us to understand other student’s thoughts and opinions regarding the model that was proposed. The points were noted digitally and we recorded audio with their consent. Also, through an indepth semi structured interview with manager Mr. Bill Cox of ‘Atlanta Mission: The Shepherd’s Inn’ at 165 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, a homeless shelter, we gained a good understanding of the existing situation at homeless shelters.

Two homeless persons, John and Eddie were interviewed as well to understand the difficulties faced by the homeless. The visit to the homeless shelter ‘Atlanta Mission: The Shepherd’s Inn’ gave more
insights into the life of the homeless people and the kind of services they get from the homeless
shelter. The interviews with the homeless people gave a holistic view on the technologies that
homeless use such as phones, email, etc. The interviews with the people who run the shelter also
gave an understanding of the existing system in place in the shelters and the services the
homeless are being provided with including courses on leadership and body language to name a
few.

A more closer study at their lives revealed that there is more than what meets our eye. Social
constructs and smaller infrastructure problems pose as great obstacles for the homeless. For
instance lack of right contacts and inadequacy of the public transportation were found to be
major issues for John to get a good job. Thus our project takes these social constructs and
psychological inhibitors and issues into account and has addressed the same within the
available timespan.

Link: Project Report