Homeless Nation 2.0

I came across a terrific website for Canadian homeless, HomelessNation.org 2.0. The site is meant to be used by the homeless as a way to receive email and document their experiences in blog, podcast, and video formats. There is also a chat function and discussion forum.

From the website, the history of the project:

Homelessnation.org is produced through a non-profit Canadian organization, Homeless Street Archive. It was formed in 2002 in Montreal by filmmaker Daniel Cross, who had just finished completing the documentary films “The Street: A Film With The Homeless” and “SPIT: Squeegee Punks In Traffic”. Having met hundreds of people from the street community across the country, Daniel searched for a way to present as many people’s experience as possible, without the need for the editing process that often left left stories on the cutting room floor. It became clear that the web provided a direction for a more participatory and inclusive approach to media.

With a beta release in 2005, and this official release in April 2006, the Homeless Nation is now a national project, with outreach teams in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto. These teams work in shelters, day centers, and on the streets, actively engaging the street community to share their stories and participate on the site. Each user creates their own unique web page and email address. Outreach teams also record location-specifc videoblogs with interested members, posting these on the site immediately.

Currently the site has over 1,300 members. There is a function available from the top right hand of the webpage to allow sorting of members by city (Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria). The site is bilingual.

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