Reimagine: Opportunity Caravan Studios Submission


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The Reimagine: Opportunity Challenge invited participants to respond to challenges in the anti-trafficking field. Namely, in areas of sustainable housing, economic empowerment and additional social services.

Our response tackles the issue of emergency shelter.

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Reimagine: Opportunity Caravan Studios Submission

  1. 1. SafeNight Providing on-demand shelter for human trafficking survivors An application submitted by Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup Global A1. Creating sustainable housing for human trafficking survivors requires more emergency, transitional, and long-term housing. All are in short supply. Emergency housing is often a necessary first step in the provision of additional support. Though the covert nature of human trafficking makes exact need difficult to determine, Polaris estimates the number to be in the hundreds of thousands.1 Despite this demand, Polaris estimates that there are only 529 beds exclusively available to survivors of human trafficking. In addition, 1,115 beds are available at organizations that offer human trafficking services, but these beds are also designated for other populations, thus limiting the space available to human trafficking survivors.2 In “Increasing Awareness and Engagement: Strengthening the National Response to Human Trafficking in the U.S.,” shelter was identified as the most common need during and immediately after a crisis.3 This report also identified an increase in emergency shelter as a key need.4 A2. Our idea, called SafeNight, will increase emergency short-term shelter. SafeNight will provide a mechanism that engages individual donors to fund emergency, ondemand hotel placements so the provision of social and health services can be offered and taken. The proof of concept for SafeNight was conceived for—and with the support of—domestic violence service organizations. Conversations about this concept have resonated with those working in the anti-trafficking field. It is our intent to apply what we have learned to build SafeNight into a functional service to be used in the aid of human trafficking survivors. By providing support to those in crisis, SafeNight will achieve the following objectives: • • • Increase the amount of emergency shelter for human trafficking survivors. Provide an opportunity for additional services and support to be offered by case managers. Provide data for the field, as a whole, on the real needs for shelter within and across defined geographic regions. 1 “Human Trafficking: Overview,” Polaris Project: “Shelter Beds for Human Trafficking Survivors in the United States,” Polaris Project, p1 3 “Increasing Awareness and Engagement: Strengthening the National Response to Human Trafficking in the U.S.,” National Human Trafficking Resource Center, p4 4 “Increasing Awareness and Engagement: Strengthening the National Response to Human Trafficking in the U.S.,” National Human Trafficking Resource Center, p28 2 Page 1 November 2013
  2. 2. At this planning stage, we have identified four groups who will directly use or benefit from SafeNight: case managers; individuals in need; individual donors; and institutional stakeholders (e.g., funders, policy-makers, national support organizations). The following is an initial process outline of how these groups would interact with SafeNight: Case managers offering placement services: • • • Organizations and case managers are vetted as offering verified placement services and added to the system. Case managers input requests for hotel room funding when they have determined there is a relevant and urgent need for emergency shelter. Organizations and case managers have access to overall generated data to inform their own programmatic and funding efforts. The individual in need: • • The individual in need contacts an appropriate community support agency or hotline. Law enforcement or emergency room personnel or other supporting community members may support them in doing this. The individual follows instructions from the case manager doing placement to take the appropriate and safe next steps. The donor: • • • The donor downloads SafeNight to their mobile device and creates a profile. The donor then just carries their phone. When an organization matching the criteria established in their profile requests support, the donor receives an alert, which provides an opportunity to pay for a hotel room via a donation to the requesting organization. The donor is able to receive relevant news and access aggregate statistics about the impact of SafeNight. Funders, policy makers, and national support organizations: • This group will be able to access aggregate statistics on national and regional levels to inform funding streams, policy decisions, and outreach and awareness campaigns. There are three important things to note regarding the processes outlined above: • • The case manager remains in control of the placement process, ensuring that necessary assessments have been done and a hotel placement is appropriate and safe. The donor pays for the hotel by making a donation in the designated amount to the requesting organization. This maintains confidentiality for the human trafficking survivor and the donor. SafeNight Submitted by: Caravan Studios, a division of TSG Page 2 November 2013
  3. 3. • Only vetted organizations and case managers can be in the system and make requests. This ensures requests are legitimate, necessary, and supporting a safe placement. While the items outlined above provide the core to the proposed service, there are other opportunities to connect the community of support providers and donors. Namely, SafeNight will achieve the following: • • • • Provide a channel to increase knowledge of human trafficking and anti-trafficking efforts. We will include features that boost visibility of human trafficking to donors and provide tools for them to share information—both national and regional—with their networks to increase awareness of this issue. Develop a base of individuals who can be activated to meet other needs related to the support of human trafficking survivors, such as funds for transportation to short-term shelter or long-distance transportation so survivors may return to their homes. Collect data, such as demographic details, about the requests in order to inform the scope of the issue and identify areas where additional and/or different funding streams can be valuable. Work in concert with and in support of existing anti-trafficking organizations and efforts within a community, bringing additional awareness and national sources of support to those front line agencies. A3. The combination of mobile and crowdfunding technologies is powerful. It can enable anytime, on-the-go financial assistance for those in the anti-trafficking field, but just as important, it has the potential to create a new ecosystem of support and innovation in the provision of anti-human trafficking services by empowering individuals to contribute to the health of their communities. Mobile and crowdfunding technologies are reaching a new generation of donors and SafeNight will raise awareness of human trafficking. In the process, SafeNight will increase the pool of donors who can help contribute to solutions in the fight against human trafficking and support the provision of the diverse range of services needed by those in crisis. A4. The data generated through SafeNight will include, but may not be limited to: • • • • • Number of appropriate requests made by each organization. This data can be aggregated at various levels (e.g., zip code, county, state) and will help define the scope of need. Demographic data regarding the request, such as language spoken, gender, and special needs can inform future funding streams and program output. Number of successfully filled requests. Unanswered requests. Number of participating donors. SafeNight Submitted by: Caravan Studios, a division of TSG Page 3 November 2013
  4. 4. B5. We have had initial conversations with subject matter experts in the anti-trafficking field at national, regional, and local levels. We also have developed partnerships with organizations supplying technical expertise. Following is a brief overview of the roles these organizations will play: To build, maintain, and improve the idea: • • • Aidmatrix will provide back-end donation support and organization on-boarding services. Subject matter experts in the anti-trafficking field will inform functionality, provide feedback, and support governance of SafeNight. Additional technical partnerships may develop to support necessary services, such as help desk services and additional app development. To encourage widespread adoption: • • • We will work with capacity building organizations in the anti-trafficking field, such as Polaris and Heartland Alliance. Groups such as these will provide training support so that SafeNight can be integrated into case management processes. We will work with appropriate government agencies and task forces to ensure high visibility for the program. We will develop national and local corporate and government partnerships to raise capacity, support, and awareness for the program and the human trafficking issue overall. To provide analytics: • We will use services, such as Socrata, to make the generated data technologically available so this data can be used to support other efforts in the field such as visualizations, data analytics, and solution development. B6. The following rough budget provides estimates for the major expense categories: [Redacted] B7. In addition to the financial requirements identified above, we will need strong relationships with intermediary organizations in the anti-trafficking field so that SafeNight can be a part of an overall system of support. Though we bring significant marketing expertise, we also will need access to additional marketing and public relations support. As with all of our work, we will create an advisory committee for SafeNight that will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders who can provide both individual expertise and access to broader levels of support. This group will serve in a governance function for the service. SafeNight Submitted by: Caravan Studios, a division of TSG Page 4 November 2013
  5. 5. To ensure that SafeNight continues to function, we also will need business planning support to set up and establish appropriate sustainability models such as a mix of donations and service fees from large public sector entities, one-time start up fees from participating organizations, and/or subscription fees from participating organizations. B8. The timeline for product development is outlined below: [Redacted] B9. We would very much like to talk to: • • • An expert in mobile adoption: to help us understand more about what will motivate donors to adopt the service. First referrers, such as law enforcement officers and emergency room staff: to understand their experience of placing a survivor in safe shelter. Case managers: to understand their process and the details of their work supporting human trafficking survivors. C10. To determine that we have successfully met the objectives as outlined in A1, we will collect baseline information and measure progress against that baseline. Increase the amount of emergency shelter for human trafficking survivors: • • • • Establish an agreed upon baseline of beds available for emergency short-term shelter. Monitor successful hotel placements. Monitor the number and diversity of motels and hotels (chain and single-sites) used in placements. Monitor the number of SafeNight requests that remain unmet. Provide an opportunity to offer additional services and support: • • Establish an agreed upon baseline of services offered to individuals placed in emergency shelter. Monitor services offered to individuals placed in a hotel through SafeNight. Provide data to the anti-trafficking field: • • Monitor the use of published data and reports. Conduct regular interviews to evaluate the ability of published data to influence programmatic, funding and policy decisions. C11. The two biggest risks facing the project: • • Acquiring a sufficient number of donors to support the total number of requests. Ensuring agencies have adequate relationships with local hotels to provide trusted placements, where necessary. SafeNight Submitted by: Caravan Studios, a division of TSG Page 5 November 2013
  6. 6. To mitigate the first risk, we will put into place a robust marketing campaign that engages stakeholders and potential supporters early in the process and engages experts in the area of mobile adoption and marketing. In addition, we will provide training for participating organizations to do local marketing. We also will leverage our corporate and governmental relationships to support PR and outreach efforts. Mitigating the second risk requires building a community of individuals, corporations, organizations, and government entities committed to providing emergency shelter for human trafficking victims. We will do this by creating a community of practice with participating agencies, connecting them to resources at hotels, creating a structure to share best practices and, where possible, leveraging relationships and hotel room discounts across the community as a whole. Through SafeNight, we believe we have a tremendous opportunity to engage a broad spectrum of individuals and supporters to address the challenge of inadequate emergency shelter for survivors of human trafficking and to help those individuals take one of most critical initial steps towards recovery. SafeNight Submitted by: Caravan Studios, a division of TSG Page 6 November 2013