For Immediate Release: June 22, 2022
Vancouver, B.C. –
Many individuals know what they’d like to focus on to improve their situations, but don’t know how to start or what supports are available to help them. Streetohome has developed a mobile and web app to build on the success of the original Life Intentions Action Planner paper tool, which helps individuals navigate Vancouver-based, free supports while reducing the stigma associated with homelessness.
Named ‘Want2’ – as in “I want to get glasses,” “I want to find a job,” etc., the app helps those at-risk for or experiencing homelessness realize a better future for themselves, and it all begins with identifying a single goal. It could relate to health & wellness; legal & advocacy; community & belonging; housing; employment; learning, training & skills; or something else that’s important to them.
The app is 100% free, easy-to-use, and anonymous. Want2 helps users create a goal, find the resources they feel best fits their needs, and develop a customizable action plan to move forward. As they achieve these goals, they can connect with buddies — supportive individuals in their life — to share their progress, seek help, and receive encouragement along their journey.
Want2 also provides additional features, including progress tracking, task reminders, and congratulatory messaging, as well as opportunities to communicate one-on-one with service providers through Chatnels (online messaging) and WelTel (text messaging) functionalities.
Services listed in Want2’s database are mostly free (exceptions being sliding-scale counselling, low-cost braces, hearing aids, etc.), self-referrable, and located within the city of Vancouver or online.
Co-created and focus tested with youth, Indigenous peoples, adults, seniors, families, immigrants & refugees, and service providers to ensure ease of use and appropriate language, Want2 empowers citizens to plan and realize a better future for themselves, one step at a time.
Want2 will continue to evolve over time and offer expanded services. This includes new features such as ‘communities,’ where users can publicly confer with other app users and/or service providers, and a ‘service provider to service provider portal,’ where service providers can connect with each other and collaborate to create improved referral pathways and coordinated networks, as well as a better client experience. It also entails scaling the app to communities across BC and Canada.
Kevin Bent (Streetohome Board): “Streetohome strives to ensure that individuals can navigate the overwhelming array of support services to find those that resonate with them. Want2 will help them find a community of support within the app, build on their successes and gain self-esteem.”
John McLernon (Streetohome Board Chair): “Want2 empowers people to shape their future by giving them the tools necessary to create opportunities for themselves and others. Individuals can start setting goals, finding resources, and determining where they want to go in their lives.”
Colin Quon (CEO, Excelar Technologies): “Want2 helps people achieve their fullest potential and participate in, and contribute to, all aspects of their life. The Chatnels feature connects individuals with family, friends and service providers who can provide support and encouragement along the way.”
Gabby Serafini (CEO, WelTel): “So many people are not able to access the appropriate care and services they need when they aren’t feeling well. WelTel, an equitable digital health communication tool that leverages the use of 2-way SMS is embedded in Want2 and connects individuals with their healthcare providers to help alleviate this problem and to support them to getting back on track with their health, so they can pursue other things in life that they want.”
Rob Turnbull (CEO, Streetohome): “Want2 introduces a variety of pathways to a better life, provides links to over 400 resources, presents motivating exercises, prompts and congratulatory messaging, and connects individuals with others who can support them on their journey.”
Karen Ott (Streetohome Volunteer): “Everyone should be able to experience life in the way they want. This tool provides vulnerable individuals with an opportunity to help themselves by seeking out the supports they would like to access, creating an action plan, and building the skills they need to achieve their personal goals.”
Sarah Shore (Streetohome Volunteer): “I’ve learned so much by helping focus test the original Life Intentions Action Planner. There was a woman who got glasses – that small thing made such a positive impact in her life. She was so proud of the goal that she set and achieved for herself.”
Marketing Communications Specialist
Streetohome brokers evidence-based solutions to meet the health & wellness; employment & volunteering; housing; education, skills & training; legal & advocacy; and community & belonging needs of individuals with lived experience of homelessness or at-risk for homelessness.
About Excelar Technologies
Excelar combines industry expertise and broad experience developing software to build intuitive and easy-to-use applications that leverage technical expertise in big data, machine learning, and security to create technology solutions that produce meaningful experiences and positive societal impacts.
WelTel is a world leading, evidence-based, digital health communication solution that uses a text-first approach to provide effective and equitable relationship-based care through accessible mobile technologies to improve health outcomes and deliver a better health-care experience for patients and practitioners.