The HelpSeeker app places a neighborhood’s full vary of social service helps in a single searchable database in order that customers can simply discover the assistance they want
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A Calgary-based tech startup that helps match individuals in want with social providers has obtained $2.5 million from the federal authorities to assist it broaden and develop throughout the nation.
HelpSeeker, a Calgary-based expertise firm based in 2018 by husband-and-wife crew Travis Turner and Alina Turner, gives a variety of digital merchandise designed to assist individuals simply entry neighborhood, well being and social providers. It additionally gives specialised instruments and providers for social service companies, suppliers, and municipal governments.
The HelpSeeker app, accessible for obtain or through internet, places a neighborhood’s full vary of social service helps — from housing to psychological well being providers to youngster care help — in a single searchable database in order that customers can simply discover the assistance they want. It’s at present accessible in over 200 communities in Western Canada in addition to Toronto.
On Friday, Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of households, kids and social growth, introduced that HelpSeeker will obtain $2.5 million over three years to assist it scale up from 200 communities to five,000 communities nation-wide. He stated the funding helps the federal government’s Nationwide Housing Technique, which goals to seek out distinctive and progressive options for the nation’s homelessness downside.
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In an interview, Alina Turner stated HelpSeeker goals to really stop continual homelessness by getting helps to at-risk people earlier than they find yourself on the streets. These helps could be something from lease dietary supplements and eviction safety, to counselling, divorce and authorized help, and gender-based violence interventions.
“There’s so many choices earlier than individuals turn into a part of that continual homeless inhabitants,” stated Turner, who’s a fellow on the College of Calgary’s College of Public Coverage and serves on the board of administrators for A Manner House Canada in addition to the Alberta Rural Growth Rural Advisory Board on housing and homelessness.
“What we needed to do is say, ‘Hey, can we use expertise and a few of these new instruments which can be coming via from the digital facet to unravel a few of these issues?’”
Turner described the $2.5-million funding injection from the federal authorities as a “recreation changer” for her firm.
“Principally it takes what would have taken us 10 years to do, the bootstrap approach, and compresses it into 2½ years,” she stated.
HelpSeeker has 37 workers in Calgary at present and Turner stated that may enhance considerably in months to come back.
“We’re at present hiring about an individual every week, and it’s not simply due to this (federal) funding. We’re in all probability going to be doubling within the subsequent 12 months.”