So how could an iPad (or similar tablet) help a homeless person find permanent housing? The website Poverty Insights offers some suggestions how access to an iPad could be life changing.

For many people who encounter homeless persons on a daily basis, a handheld device that lists where all the services and housing for homeless people are located would really be magical. While designing a plan to address homelessness in a region of Los Angeles County, we encountered numerous law enforcement agency leaders who told us, “We just don’t know where to send homeless people for help.”

An iPad app that provided a list of life-changing housing resources could help the local librarian, nurse, church secretary, police officer and crossing guard when they encounter a homeless person seeking help. Some computer-based websites teeter toward this solution, including 211LA.orgsocialserve.comand

An iPad filled with employment resources could change people lives. We all know housing and employment provides dignity for a person. An appliance that helps you write a resume, peruse job listings, and actually allows you to email letters and resumes to potential employers could transform the definition of employment training.

For many people living on the streets, homelessness means isolation. We all need a community of supporters, whether we are house-less or housed. Homeless advocate, Mark Horvath, created a very special online community for homeless folks via Wouldn’t it be magical if truly supportive communities could be built on the streets with electronic devices that promote such online communities?

Apple says that the iPad is magical because it is a computer that can be held and touched. This is what those of us on the frontlines of homelessness value. We want to embrace people’s lives so that they feel dignified, so that they have the will to overcome the barriers of the streets.

We want to touch people’s lives with the gift of housing. A home provides security, dignity, protection, community, identity, and love.

A pad, a home is truly magical.


  • Have you ever considered technology as a possible tool to help those on the margins access services?
  • Have you ever considered recycling an unused computer by donating it to those who work on the front lines of poverty?


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