Seattle continues to struggle with homelessness as leaders look for solutions, but a local entrepreneur has developed a new smart phone app he hopes will empower people to give directly to the homeless.
It’s a cashless system that works over Bluetooth.
The app is called GiveSafe. It promises to do exactly what the name says — let users to feel safe giving homeless people money, knowing they’ll use it for things they need instead of things they don’t need, such as drugs or alcohol.
Those who have the app will get a notification on their phone when they walk by a homeless person who has signed up for the program. They can then transfer money to a homeless person’s account.
Location services need to be enabled on the phone so it can detect Bluetooth beacons the homeless people are given on a blue necklace.
The homeless individual can then take that beacon to a handful of merchants to redeem their donations.
GiveSafe has agreements with several merchants, including a downtown coffee shop, a barbershop, the Army-Navy Surplus Store, Grocery Outlet and others.
The alert received on the phone also gives information about the homeless person who’s nearby.
For instance, while using the app, reporter Jeff Dubois found Sarah. An alert from the app says her husband died recently and they were evicted from their home because they couldn’t pay the mortgage.
She used to be a nursing assistant.
That information can help the app user to decide if they want to donate from $1 to $100 via PayPal.
© 2016 Cox Media Group.