Visitors to the World Homelessness Day event in Hull this week were the first to be introduced to Emmaus Hull and East Riding’s latest development – an ‘App’ for smartphones.
Revealing the new venture, app designer Jonny Elshout of VIP Communications said: “I believe this will become a fantastic tool to not only support the great work Emmaus Hull & East Riding do but also help members of the public make a positive change that will effect their community.”
The app has 2 main functions, to support the Street Outreach Team, and to help with the logistics of Emmaus’ social enterprise activities.
The Locate Rough Sleeper section of the app contains a simple form, with the ability to pin your current GPS, designed to be quick and easy to use whilst ensuring Emmaus receive all of the information they need to dispatch a team member to offer support to a rough sleeper in Hull or the East Riding.
The Donate Items section of the app will allow members of the public to request a collection of items they want to donate to Emmaus Hull & East Riding’s warehouse and shops. In this section of the smartphone app people donating items can even add photos of the goods they’re donating. This will allow the logistics team to accurately assess the time needed to process collections, maybe even avoiding wasted trips to look at items that the team cannot accept into the warehouse.
Both sections of the app send information into Emmaus, and then a member of the Emmaus team will contact them. The app is not going to be replacing Emmaus’ friendly face-to-face way of working, it’ll just help to streamline operations on a day-to-day basis.
The app also has internal access to news from the charity, and a link to HumberHelp for wider sector news and resources.
The app is currently available for the Android operating system through Google’s PlayStore – search for Emmaus Hull. The iOS version of the app will be available from Apple’s AppStore within a week or so.
Kelly Finnis, Director of Emmaus Hull and East Riding, shared her excitement about the new app: “We’re not aware of any similar app being used in this way by another charity in the sector. We’re delighted to be pioneering this new way of working which will help us to provide an even better service to those we support and those that support us.”