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In recent years, the exclusion of homeless people has reached a crisis point in many European countries. ESN member, iSocial Foundation, which promotes innovation in social services in Spain, acknowledges this issue and is putting homeless people at the core of the digital transformation of social services to ensure their inclusion and reintegration into society.

The service, NIDUS: Digital, Remote, and Safe Support for Homeless People, is a digital platform that allows homeless people to upload and store their documents safely. The platform was developed to respond to the loss of documentation and the anxiety and administrative burden this loss creates. Through the platform, users can use a chat system to communicate with social workers who support them, oversee a map of points of interest, services, and resources that can respond to their needs, and receive notifications from NGOs and local social services.

Latest data from the Spanish National Institute of Statistics shows that the number of homeless people in Spain has grown by 25% in the last ten years. The loss of documentation adds to their social exclusion and makes it more difficult for them to seek help with existing conditions such as poor mental health.

How does this tool improve the lives of homeless people?

The tool lowers their levels of stress and anxiety due to the loss of their personal documents. The other benefits of the platform such as the possibility to chat with social workers or find out other kinds of help available empowers them to be part of society.

Toni Codina, Chief Executive Officer of iSocial Foundation, hopes to extend the use of this tool to all municipalities with a high level of homelessness in Spain.

Find more information about the tool here.

Watch the explanatory video of the tool here.

Tony Codina will be presenting the NIDUS platform on 15 June at the 2023 European Social Services Conference in Malmö, which this year focuses on the digital transformation of social services, and how this can improve people’s autonomy and social inclusion. Find out more here