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vienna, Source: FSW / Stadt Wien

With Vienna’s Cold App, everyone can do their part in helping the homeless

With Vienna’s Cold App, everyone can do their part in helping the homeless

Thanks to the app, citizens in precarious conditions can request support from authorities during the cold winter months

Winter has already arrived in Europe and the adverse circumstances that are traditionally present during the season have been made even worse due to the coronavirus pandemic. The situation is especially precarious for the homeless population of Europe’s cities who face not only the challenges of the cold and the snow but also an additional threat in the face of COVID-19. The Austrian capital of Vienna, however, stands ready to meet these challenges and protect its citizens as best it can.

Using smart technology to help the vulnerable

The City of Vienna boasts exemplary services for the support and care for homeless people. In addition to the city's 11th winter package, adopted earlier in October, the Vienna Social Fund's Cold App (KälteApp) is an additional digital tool for requesting support.

“In Vienna nobody should have to spend the night on the street during the cold season. With the free KälteApp, the Viennese can quickly and easily request support when they see homeless people on the street. The digital solution was a logical step. Because we know that many people today prefer to communicate via WhatsApp and Co. rather than picking up the phone. Every message helps that street social work can provide even more targeted support, ”explains Social Councilor Peter Hacker.

Requesting support through the app is very easy and with just a few clicks the street social workers from Obdach Wien can be notified. Everyone can and should make use of the app as citizens can request support on the behalf of individuals they spot on the street. Such actions by ordinary people could ultimately save lives, according to local authorities.

Since the KälteApp was launched at the end of October 2019, it has already been downloaded over 7,600 times and the app alone has received almost 1,000 reports from Obdach Wien's street social work.

 

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