‘I Need Help’ button aims to help those in crisis

Homeless support web

The new initiative has been launched by Shelter Scotland and can be utilised by other charities

11th October 2017 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A new online tool aims to provide instant support to those struck by crisis.

Shelter Scotland has launched an online, mobile friendly I Need Help button aimed at providing immediate support for people in crisis or facing homelessness in Scotland.

When someone accesses the button via their mobile phone or online, the geo-positioning enabled tool points people to their nearest help point – such as their local authority housing/homelessness support team or third sector organisation.

I Need Help was developed by Shelter Scotland following a weekend-long hackathon last year which saw the idea of the help button win top spot. Funding was then secured from Comic Relief to enable its development, testing and roll-out. The button now features prominently on the charity’s homepage and emergency advice pages.

The tool asks targeted questions that lead the user to the exact information they need based on their current location.

It has been designed using open-source technology which means it can be adapted by other third sector/not-for-profit organisations to offer their service users appropriate and timely support or information.

Conrad Rossouw, digital manager at Shelter Scotland, said: “We know that for some of the people who make the more than 800,000 unique web visits a year to our online advice pages, they are in a state of deep distress and need help right there and then – which isn’t always immediately available.

“This tool will get them to the right information they need as quickly as possible – for example the address and phone number for their local council’s homelessness service.”