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Personal address system and skills program for people experiencing homelessness


Homelessness continues to be a serious issue across Australia which affects so many; the essence is about absence - absence of a home, a safe place to live, social connection, choices and control over one's life.

My aim is to design and generate a system that allows individuals to regain their sense of identity. This can be achieved through providing easily accessible lockers with a personal address attached, as well as fundamental services such as counselling and practical skills to assist people find connection and belonging in the community.

Help me turn homelessness into a situation- not an identity.

What do you think?

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john-3 @ 2021.07.11 12:25 PM


I am John Hepburn from the rotary club of ku-ring-gai, one of our projects is to help people sleeping rough and homelessness. 

Please provide me information regarding your ideas. Regards John Hepburn 

R Hainsworth @ 2021.07.11 12:35 PM
Great idea Lauren. Have you contacted Australia Post to see if you can collaborate with them?

IdeaSpies @ 2021.07.11 1:40 PM

I hope other ideas on IdeaSpies help you with your project Lauren- search homelessness and also homeless.

Good that John Hepburn has offered support through his Rotary Club.

laurenmcnamara @ 2021.07.12 7:11 AM

Hi John, 

Thank you for your interest! The concept of my project targets those who do not have a current fixed address (homeless and displaced people being my primary target market - TM). In order for my system to work, I would need the input and support of other key stakeholders.

Community Centre/Venue - For example, a library would be an ideal setting as there is social security, and is easily accessible. This community-based environment could house lockers/storage and a space to meet with support staff, increasing social interaction and access to key practical support for users.

The lockers involved would be similar to a PO-Box concept - users may have 24/7 access, which allows them to collect and store any mail, parcels, job employment information, event notices, personal belongings and more. Users will be given a personal address, synced to personal information in an online system. Eg: 23A/355 Botany Rd, Zetland (Green Square Library).

Counsellors, social workers & volunteers - To provide my TM with support and guidance for mental health challenges, as well as financial assistance, employment services and self-development skills. This may be as simple as a "referral service" to appropriate existing support agencies in the community.

The involvement of local government and council resources and grants, along with volunteer organisations (for example Rotary Club). During research for my project I connected with Dolores Women's Refuge who were keen to support this concept - an example of a specific support service who may benefit.

I hope that helps to clarify the vision, and I would be happy to hear any feedback from you!

ReadyFundGo @ 2021.07.12 10:33 AM

Well done Lauren - a very thoughtful idea and great to see it being developed further by a John, Richard and Lynn.

It could be that you could do a small scale trial and use crowdfunding to help pay for a few lockers to get your concept off the ground.

At ReadyFundGo we are an IdeaSpies partner so happy to give you a few tips about setting up a crowdfunding page if you decided to go down this route.

Well done  again.

With best wishes Jill 

R Hainsworth @ 2021.09.08 5:08 PM

Hi there Lauren, hope all is well.

We are very interested in your project and I hope that being part of the UpRising initiative has been rewarding and meaningful for you. 

As we wrap up the trial phase of the UpRising initiative and head towards the awards night in November I have a few quick questions.  If you could answer these in a comment below that would be so great. We want to understand how UpRising assisted you and also help us best prepare for next year's cohort of designers.

1.      What were two interesting things that you experienced or found as a result of being part of the UpRising? 

2.      How did UpRising help you with your project?

3.      What would you like to do with your project and what would help you get there?

4.      How did seeing other UpRising projects affect your designing and learning experience? 

5.      What would you like to see added to the UpRising initiative to better help next year's students?


One last thing, can you add in a ‘Start to Finish’ photo of your project? Stitch a photo of early drawing or prototype next to an image of your finished product and update your post with this image.

Congratulations once again and looking forward to seeing you in November. You have done an amazing job and we are very proud of the 2021 cohort. 

See you soon

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