New app is designed to help homeless people in Springfield

Published: Nov. 30, 2016 at 6:07 PM CST
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For just about anything in life these days, we can say, 'There's an app for that.' Now engineers and developers are coming together in Springfield to create an app to try to end homelessness.

"It's just depressing, really. You feel like there's nowhere to go," said Brad Frisinger, who recently lost his job as a logger in Reeds Spring.

Frisinger is thankful for the chance to warm up at Veterans Coming Home where volunteers serve lunch. However, figuring out where to go when he found himself homeless three weeks ago took some time.

"I come on some hard times down home, lost my place, lost my job, found myself up here," Frisinger said.

It's harder for people like Frisinger to connect than you might realize. Connecting with resources is especially a challenger when you don't know where to go or have the transportation to get there.

Randy McCoy works for the largest provider of homeless services in our area and said they have now come up with a solution: an app available on public computers and downloadable for smart phones.

"It would tell you what time they serve meals, what time they hand out the travel packs. If you need to bring anything special with you, like a photo ID, to receive services," McCoy said.

Patterned after an app to help the homeless in Dallas, the Springfield app will connect those in need to food, shelter, and a slew of services.

It will even provide directions and public transit options for getting to the agencies.

"With the ultimate goal being getting off the street and getting into a house again," McCoy said.

"I've done all construction, HVAC, plumbing, I've done a little bit of everything," Frisinger said.

"It (the app) would help people that don't know what to do or where to go," he said.

Even if they don't have data or the ability to make calls, those who are homeless can still use old phones to connect to WiFi in public places.

That's why the Kitchen takes phone donations. Developers want those who are not homeless to get the app as well, so they can help those in need of resources.

Developers and engineers are donating their time for 24 hours, starting at 6 p.m. Dec. 9, to build the app for free. It will be a networking event for people in the industry. If you would like to get involved,