WHAT IS REFUGELINK?
Our solution is RefugeLink. RefugeLink.com is a real-time GPS-based essential services locator app which can be used by the needy or by helpful citizens as well as service providers to connect those in need with the services they are seeking. Up until recently, this concept would have been impractical since homeless individuals were unlikely to carry smart phones. But because of the California Lifeline program, low income people can qualify for free telephones and all of them are now smart phones. Our plan is to create an online database of providers and their services. A user will be able to select categories such as Food, Shelter, Clothing, Hygiene, Medical, and Substance Abuse and the app will display a list of providers sorted by distance from the user based on his GPS location. The list will also indicate whether the provider services are available that day and at what time. The user can then drill-down to view detail information on each provider listed. Details would include a description of the provider, address, phone number, map with directions and bus routes, further information on the services provided by the facility, and operating hours for each service provided.
What makes RefugeLink particularly unique among online essential service databases is that it includes a mechanism for providers to maintain their own information. We work with each provider to set up their account so that they can change their basic information as needed. Each provider has a “Provider App” which will allow them to override the status of each service on-the-fly in a matter of seconds.
Technology has always been about improving lives. It has changed the way we communicate, educate, work, shop, and gather information. With smart phones becoming ubiquitous in the homeless community, we believe that this technology can empower and improve the lives of those who otherwise have few resources.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."