UK based Teenager might end Homelessness once and for all
Homeless people are common sight anywhere you go. Whether it’s developing nations like India or developed ones like USA, you can find them on streets sleeping under the vast stretch of night sky, shivering endlessly, waiting for the night to end. During the day, you may find them wandering around the dumpsters or begging for a change. Many of us simply walk past them, looking away, denying their existence. A generous few might reach down their pocket and toss a penny or two, but even that begs a question – What good that penny will do? They may get a one night meal today, what about tomorrow? You may ask these questions to yourself and reach no conclusion, one teenage genius from UK thinks he has.
Meet Joshua Browder, a simple, moderate looking guy. He’s a computer expert turned moral crusader. A few years ago, he was brought to limelight when he invented DoNotPay.co.uk, to get UK people out of fines for unpaid parking tickets. The online app has since appealed agains 160,000 parking tickets and saved millions of common people’s hard-earned money. The website works in a questionnaire format, asking people a number of questions and translating their answers into a legally sound documents. These documents are then used by the people to appeal parking tickets.
Working on similar principles, Joshua has now developed an app which can help the newly homeless find somewhere to live. In an interview with a website, he said –
Once I set up the website to get people out of fines for unpaid parking tickets I got a lot of emails from people telling me just about other issues they thought I could help them out with, but sadly a lot of the time, I can’t.
I’m not a lawyer, I’m just a student. But when I received an email from a woman who had been evicted and was in hospital with nowhere to go I felt I really had to do something.
I really can’t describe how bad I felt after hearing her story. I just wanted to help. So I decided I had to do something to get the recently homeless back into accommodation again.
At the beginning I sent out a Freedom of Information request to find out the most successful, and least successful, ways to get yourself rehoused. Then when I had the results I got together a few lawyers, who were willing to work with me for free, to write some generic letters which the recently homeless could send to their council to get themselves back into accommodation.
So now, if you visit the site, you’ll be asked a few general questions about your current condition and once you get to the end you’ll be given a draft of one of the generic letters – tailored to your requirements – which you can send through to your council and fingers crossed you can get yourself back into housing.
The website has since gained widespread attention. Interestingly, Joshua doesn’t want to make any money from his ventures. He doesn’t make a penny from his work and is doing merely for the sake of needy people. He is surely the ‘Robin Hood of Internet’. If only there were more people like him, the world would me much better place to live him. We, at Xtracoop, thank him for all the people he has helped and we hope he continue his good work.