An app that aims help homeless people and families to register for and find accommodation via a smartphone has won the Magnet Networks Tech For Good honour at Ireland’s top technology awards Spiders X.

Homelight, designed by Dublin firm Graphic Mint, aims to provide families and individuals with the online services they need to exit homelessness, and to streamline what is a complicated process.

The app, which has been brought to prototype stage, will allow people who are becoming homeless to go through the registration process of qualifying for appropriate housing or a bed on a smartphone.

“This app has the ability to use technology to tackle one of the biggest issues facing society, and is deserving of further support from industry,” said Magnet Networks Ireland Managing Director Stephen Brewer.

Graphic Mint have shown their Homelight prototype to organisations such as Focus Ireland, ICHH and Simon Community and they have received a positive response.

“Homeless families in Ireland have difficulties navigating and communicating with the current accommodation support system. They find it hard to reach or use, and are often left in the dark about their application progress,” said Julian Becerra, Director of Digital Strategy at Graphic Mint.

“Our staff wanted to shine a light on the issue of homelessness and demonstrate how technology can help to streamline what can be an antiquated and complex process.

“Homelight guides users through each step of the application for accommodation. It helps users understand and request housing services best suited to their immediate needs.

“We have done a lot of research, both via documentation and talking to people involved in the system and are sure that we can help to clarify the process for users and simplify it for everyone involved.

“The original concept that we came up with was for families, but this could be very useful for any one individual as well.

“If you think of the process of booking a room on Airbnb or applying for a passport, they can all be done with ease on a mobile phone but technology also streamlines the process internally for the organisation managing the process.

“We have been looking for support for technology companies to take this pro bono project to the next step and are also looking for a major Council to take notice of what we have created.”

Receiving a Spiders award is one of the market’s most sought-after recognitions for digital, web, community and brand excellence.

“The Spiders celebrate excellence across a range of industries, and as Ireland’s leading cloud technology provider we see the awards as a perfect fit,” said Mr Brewer.

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