Technology, Social Justice, Information Access & WIN
A powerful social equity tool, the WIN What I Need mobile app breaks information barriers that too often restrict underserved populations from learning about and accessing helpful services. Trusted access to information and services is the first step out of poverty. Cell phones and mobile app’s meet a direct service need of the homeless- access to essential information about supportive services.
New Name for OCLA. We are now OUR COMMUNITY LA!
New Name-- Same Mission! Our Children LA is now Our Community LA - We changed our name to better reflect the community we serve. Since we launched the WIN What I Need mobile app in 2015, we have expanded to serve everyone- youth, families and adults -even seniors! Note our new website: oclawin.org. Please bookmark it and visit us regularly!
WIN What I Need Mobile app now serves SENIORS!
NEW! Senior Services! The WIN What I Need app has expanded to add supportive services just for struggling Seniors! Seniors in need of helpful services can now easily search WIN to find Senior Services. All Senior Services are marked with the new "Senior Only" icon.
COVID Hits LA's Homeless Population
The homeless population is having its own alarming surge in COVID cases. And 60% of those cases are in shelters of all kinds — from vast emergency shelters to the smaller-scale ones created under L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s A Bridge Home program. Nowhere a homeless person goes is completely protected from the virus these days.
California's 2021 State Budget and Homelessness
The Governor 's Budget Proposal addresses the homeless housing availability and housing affordability crisis by reorganizing state housing programs to increase housing options. The budget includes funding to a) acquire motels for homeless housing, b) develop short-term community mental health facilities and c) purchase or preserve senior housing.
Mission Statement of OCLA
Our Community LA (OCLA), leverages technology to help youth, families and adults in need or experiencing homelessness easily connect to essential resources. Our goal is to empower and support the ability of all homeless and resource-insecure individuals, including youth and students under age 25, families, and seniors, to find the help they need to live a life free from poverty, abuse or neglect. By providing unique mobile and online tools, OCLA breaks information barriers and makes it easy for people to learn about the supportive services available to help them in their time of need. OCLA's free WIN What I Need mobile app represents a 21st century "hand up" to struggling individuals, enabling them to take steps towards making immediate and lasting positive change in their lives.
Our Community LA Feature
WIN: Meeting A Direct Service Need of LA’s Homeless
Mobile technology is the cornerstone of modern communication and information access. Virtually everyone trusts it, grandmothers use computers and cell phones are everywhere. But in an odd paradox, technology access is often seen as a luxury or status item. This mindset too often leads well-meaning folks to wonder suspiciously whether a poor or homeless person in possession of a cell phone is in fact really in need of supportive services. Such thinking also discounts the ability of mobile technology to offer innovative tools designed to support pathways out of poverty.
A smart phone in hand can offer the opportunity for human connectivity as well as a sense of security. Recognizing the importance of communication and knowledge access, the federal lifeline program, begun under the Bush Administration, has been providing homeless and low income individuals access to smart phones for over a decade. Millennials consider cell phones a necessity- one study reported that homeless teens consider smart phones as important as food. Today, the vast majority of the US’s homeless youth, families and adults under age 40 have smart phones.
It only makes sense to leverage trusted mobile technology to offer homeless individuals access to helpful information through free easy to use mobile app’s… like WIN.
Mobile applications are uniquely suited to meet a direct service. And they transform the outreach dynamic by empowering vulnerable students and families to search for and connect with service providers they choose any time they are ready. If you are homeless or living in your car, you can use free WiFi at your local library to download WIN to search for housing, respond to job searches or call a hotline. Couch-surfing college students may use it to locate free food, tutoring or school supplies. WIN offers free access to regional services, directions, helpful information and more.
Access to information and services are the first step out of poverty. The next time you see a destitute person with a cell phone, remind yourself that cell phones and mobile apps’s meet a direct service need of the homeless- access to information. Apps like WIN are a 21st century “Hand Up”.