It’s been reported that there has been a 39% increase in street homelessness in New York City since 2016 and an average of 60,000 people spend their nights in city shelters. A research notes that as inequality rises, the rich and poor are increasingly unlikely to interact with one another due to segregated neighborhoods by housing prices.
This lack of interaction is also shown in an experiment done in New York City that shows New Yorkers walking pass their own family member, not realizing their identities, only because they have been dressed as street homeless. It awakens us into realizing how much we are numb to these people on the street, just because they live on the street.
The insights the team have gathered from our research is that living in the city demands time to New Yorkers and draws them away from helping other people. And street homeless survive on people’s donation but it’s not always easy to ask and receive specific items that they need. Lastly, people are more likely to help when they feel connected to the person in need.
The idea is a platform that allows users to connect with people in need by fulfilling their requests. The user can search the requests based on locations and find a match that they can supply. The goal is to connect New Yorkers and homeless to habitualize generosity and build a stronger community where people are not judged on their circumstances but becoming partners in sharing the basic means of kindness that they can provide.
ShareNYC provides nearby request information based on the user’s location and also shows the map with direction to the requested kiosk when the user decides to share an item.
With the kiosks installed in almost every block of Manhattan, LinkNYC allows its users the accessibility and availability to enjoy its services conveniently. In ShareNYC, the receiver uses the kiosk to post their need to the system and also advertise the requests on the main screen.
John is homeless who has never worked because of his chronic depression and his problem with his legs. He has tried the shelter system but found the other residents challenging to live with. He relies on people in the neighborhood to survive from their charity.
Not having enough food daily, staying outside in colder seasons
Eating food every day, being safe, keeping warmth, building relationships with people
Amy is adjusting to the busy life of the city and has noticed the number of homeless people she encounters on her way to work. She feels frustrated because she feels divided between wanting to help and being cautious of potential unknown threats.
Feeling bad about not helping homeless, not knowing what they really need
Engaging with the homeless, being more comfortable with city life
John has been thirsty, so he opens ShareNYC from a LinkNYC kiosk nearby.
John completes his request by recording a video message.
John's request is posted on the screen of the kiosk he used.
Abby checks the ShareNYC app to see nearby requests that she can fulfill.
Abby selects a kiosk nearby and decides to help John for water.
As Abby approaches John, ShareNYC alerts John that she is on her way to share.
When John confirms that he has seen the notice, Abby gets notified that he is waiting for her arrival.
Seeing the alert on the screen, he taps on the tablet to confirm to Abby.
Amy meets John and shares the water bottle she has brought for him. John thanks her with gratitude and smile and wishes her a good day. He feels happy that she had come to help his need and Amy feels generous and is humbled by John’s appreciation.