INNOVATION: innovations helping homeless people around the world

Sunday, February 25, 2018

http://www.impactlab.net/2018/02/18/8-incredible-innovations-helping-homeless-people-around-the-world/

February 18th, 2018 at 8:22 am
8 incredible innovations helping homeless people around the world

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Homelessness is widespread and hard to solve, affecting more than 560,000 people in the U.S. and hundreds of millions around the world.

It’s a complex and intractable problem, with countless agencies and nonprofits working to tackle root causes and provide systemic solutions. But while there may not be a one-size-fits-all formula for homeless people in every community, technology and innovation can help fill in the gaps.

Gadgets, apps and prototypes are temporary fixes, of course — we need to tackle poverty, lack of affordable housing, unemployment and more to truly arrive at solutions. But in the meantime, innovations can offer much-needed support to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

From a winter coat that takes contactless donations in Amsterdam to commercial shower trailers that offer hygiene and dignity in San Francisco, these eight inventions think outside the box when it comes to the issue of homelessness.

1. The EMPWR coat

The Empowerment Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit that aims to lift people out of poverty and homelessness through employment, created an innovative coat that doubles as a sleeping bag and an over-the-shoulder bag for homeless populations.

The EMPWR coat is a durable, water-resistant jacket made of Cordura fabric from workwear company Carhartt, upcycled automotive insulation from General Motors, and materials from other donors. It costs $100 to “sponsor” a coat, distributed to those in need.

EMPWR coats have been donated across 40 states in the U.S., seven Canadian provinces and a few other countries around the world, according to the Empowerment Plan website.

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While personally I doubt that Gooferment “agencies” will ever “solve” homelessness”, I admire when the “private sector” gets into the solutions.

This is another Gooferment-created problem — zoning, licensing, inflation, closing the psychiatric hospitals “streeting” the mentally ill, and other Gooferment “programs” / “services” — that the Gooferment doesn’t want to solve. (What will the politicians and bureaucrats do if there are no “homeless” to need their “help”?)

Like Habitat For Humanity, I’d hope that the “tiny homes” revolution could become the answer to the homelessness “epidemic”. I can envision that a 50’s style development of cheap track housing developed for the returning ww2 and Korean veterans but rows of tiny houses with shared access roads. Put them around hospitals and clinics.

Tiny homes seem to be in the 20K$ range quantity one; I can’t imagine what they would cost in quantity “lots”.

Hope that idea gets a try. It’d be better then the homeless “encampments” that spring up.

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INTERESTING: Libraries will morph

Thursday, April 4, 2013

http://www.impactlab.net/2013/04/03/top-5-innovations-that-show-libraries-dont-have-to-disappear/

April 3rd, 2013 at 11:22 am
Top 5 innovations that show libraries don’t have to disappear
in: Analysis,People Making a Difference,Science & Technology News

Bookless library

Despite the meaning of the name, library (derived from liber, which is literally a Latin word for “tree bark”), libraries insist that they are actually a hotbed of innovation. And surprisingly they are, to some extent, it’s true. 

Yes, the “browsing” that libraries are constructed around is completely antithetical to how information is browsed on the Internet. But the existential threat posed by the web has driven libraries public and private to rethink how they can provide people with access not simply to dead trees, but to “information.” Here are five of the most interesting examples:

1. The Bookless Library

A judge in Bexar County, Texas made waves when he announced his intention to build a library without any books at all. That’s somewhat of an overstatement; there will be no paperbacks and no hardbacks, but BiblioTech will have a surplus of e-readers, making the text itself accessible to anyone with a library card.

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TECHNOLOGY: Solve those traffic jams … please!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

http://www.impactlab.net/2012/06/04/32-technological-innovations-that-will-change-your-tomorrow/

June 4th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
32 technological innovations that will change your tomorrow

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6. The Congestion Killer

Traffic jams can form out of the simplest things. One driver gets too close to another and has to brake, as does the driver behind, as does the driver behind him — pretty soon, the first driver has sent a stop-and-go shock wave down the highway. One driving-simulator study found that nearly half the time one vehicle passed another, the lead vehicle had a faster average speed. All this leads to highway turbulence, which is why many traffic modelers see adaptive cruise control (A.C.C.) — which automatically maintains a set distance behind a car and the vehicle in front of it — as the key to congestion relief. Simulations have found that if some 20 percent of vehicles on a highway were equipped with advanced A.C.C., certain jams could be avoided simply through harmonizing speeds and smoothing driver reactions. One study shows that even a highway that is running at peak capacity has only 4.5 percent of its surface area occupied. More sophisticated adaptive cruse control systems could presumably fit more cars on the road.

When a quarter of the vehicles on a simulated highway had A.C.C., cumulative travel time dropped by 37.5 percent.
In another simulation, giving at least a quarter of the cars A.C.C. cut traffic delays by up to 20 percent.
By 2017, an estimated 6.9 million cars each year will come with A.C.C.

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