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A Help-the-Homeless App That Isn't Just Lazy 'Clicktivism'

The creators of WeShelter “don’t want people to stop at tapping the button.”
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Luca Moglia / Flickr

Anyone living in a big city has had the experience. You pass a homeless person lying on a sidewalk, huddled in a doorway, camped out in a park or on a subway platform. Sometimes he or she is asking for help in the form of money. Sometimes you give. More often, if you’re like most of us, you hurry past. What, after all, can you really do?

That feeling of powerlessness in the presence of another individual’s suffering is what Ilya Lyashevsky, Ken Manning, and Robb Chen-Ware are trying to address with an app called WeShelter. The three first came up with the idea a couple of years ago, when they were all working in the tech industry in New York.