Your $ 15 Ask­Izzy do­na­tion a life­saver

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AF­TER mid­night on any given night, peo­ple with­out homes are still awake search­ing for hous­ing around Aus­tralia.

New data com­piled by Ask Izzy, a world- first app de­signed to con­nect the na­tion’s home­less with ser­vices and char­i­ties, has re­vealed the search for shel­ter does not stop af­ter day­light hours.

In­stead the most pop­u­lar on­line re­quest be­tween 12am and 3am is con­sis­tently for nearby hous­ing op­tions, with re­search by the Univer­sity of Syd­ney show­ing nearly 80 per cent of home­less peo­ple have ac­cess to a smart­phone but not al­ways to power points.

To counter this prob­lem Ask­Izzy is call­ing on Townsville Bul­letin read­ers to make a $ 15 do­na­tion through West­pac for bat­tery recharge cards that will pro­vide emer­gency smart­phone power. The new cam­paign co­in­cides with the launch of Home­less­ness Week which be­gins to­day.

John Ken­ney, who has spent close to 50 years with­out a home said the data re­in­forced a lot of the lessons he had learned since liv­ing on the street from when he was seven.

“Peo­ple of­ten won­der why they see peo­ple with­out a home asleep dur­ing the day, it’s a safety is­sue,” he said.

“You’re much more at risk of at­tack at night so that is when a lot of peo­ple on the street are up and about try­ing to or­gan­ise them­selves and find shel­ter. “More of­ten than not these peo­ple are flee­ing do­mes­tic or fam­ily vi­o­lence ... They need help straight away so the last thing they need is their phone dy­ing in the mid­dle of the night.

“The sit­u­a­tion out there is get­ting worse, more peo­ple are com­ing out ev­ery day.”

Ask­Izzy was de­vel­oped by Mel­bourne- based not- for­profit In­fox­change in part­ner­ship with News Corp Aus­tralia, Google and the REA Group.

Read­ers have helped more than 12,000 peo­ple stay con­nected to life­sav­ing ser­vices so far. To do­nate go to west­pac. com. au/ ask­izzy

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