“I work from home” How often have I said this since I moved to Barcelona. Our small events company does its thing (mainly consultancy) from my home / office. Like many people who work from home we never quite realise how lucky we are. It’s the shortest commute known to man. I can juggle numerous household tasks while I download a big file or wait for my computer to restart. If I forget to take something to work, within five seconds we are reunited. My home is where my heart is and also where my passion lives. Isn’t having a home / office a wonderful thing. I couldn’t imagine not working from home.
But just imagine for one moment that you lost not only your office but your home. Homelessness is something that can happen to anyone. It can and has happened to those you would least expect. From pop stars and movie stars to those who served in our armed services, homelessness is a door that is open to all.
Over the last few months the homelessness and rough sleeping situation in the UK and across the globe has been raised in the public conciseness. In February this year a rough sleep died at the gates of Westminster in London, the fourth person to die on the streets of London in the first six weeks of this year. Something has to change.
In my home city of Glasgow in Scotland a homeless person loses their life, on average (what a terrible term to use!) once a week. Something has to change. But what can an event organiser based in Catalonia do about the homeless situation 1000 miles away in his home town? Not much. What can anyone really do? It’s probably something you are asking yourself now. I’d like to help, but what can I do?
A Hackathon turns not much into a whole lot!
Well, a Hackathon turns that “not much” into a huge amount. We just need a hundred people or so to donate their “not much”, in the form of their time and their particular skills, to make a real difference.
Organising a homeless hackathon
We have started the ball rolling. I’ve set up a Hackathon in Glasgow on the 13th – 15th April and I just need 100 x “not much” to make it work. I am using the skills I have to organise an event – I happen to be quite good at that – and I just need others to do the same. If you happen to be quite good at something then you can help.
Homelessness Organisations will pitch projects, from a risk assessment app to a Scotland wide common monitoring and recording database framework, in front of our attendees on the Friday evening. By Sunday evening we will be a long way towards developing practical solutions to help these organisations do what they do best: supporting those without homes.
From my home come office I can do something. And so can you.
The homeless hackathon takes place in Glasgow and you can find out more and buy tickets here. In May we plan to create a Homeless Hack Pack and if you think you can do “not much” in your home town or city get in touch and we will share what we have learned. It might not be much, but sometimes that is just enough to make a difference.
If you are interested in having a UK hackathon organiser support your organisation to run a hackathon then please get in touch.