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iHobo game causes controversy

 
June 7th 2010
 
A downloadable mobile phone game - known as an 'app' - to raise awareness of youth homelessness is attracting criticism for stereotyping young, homeless people.

Users of the free iHobo app, created on behalf of youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, are required to look after a 'virtual' rough sleeper for three days, giving them food, money and shelter when needed. There is also a donations page, where users can pledge 1, 3 or 10 to Depaul UK.

A Guardian article said the controversy surrounded "how tasteful the app is, how effective it is and whether it stereotypes young homeless people."

Comments on social networking site Twitter revealed some of the responses. "Trying #iHobo to find out how it manages to deal with stereotypes. So far not looking good," said one user. Another wrote: "A crap app. Homeless awareness is so important but this doesn't achieve anything."

But chief executive of Depaul UK, Paul Marriott, said it was the right approach: "By creating this app, we aim to dispel negative stereotypes of young homeless people and raise awareness of the reasons that young people become homeless and the emotions that they feel," he said.

"We want people to understand that giving money on the street isn't the answer - it's about supporting organisations who have been set up to help them."

Although 80 per cent of Depaul UK's funding comes from statutory sources such as local councils, and only 20 per cent from fundraising activities, including donors, there is no doubt there is also a strong fundraising objective for the iHobo 'app'. At the time of going to press, the iHobo app had been downloaded from the UK iPhone app store more than 100,000 times.
 
 
 

 

Contents

New arrivals hit the streets

Soup Run Forum

Web only: Emergency Islington shelter remains open during sub-zero temperatures

Chairman of the board

Rest in peace - in memory of lost friends

Prince poses

Starter pack boost

Wearing a jacket to beg?

Teens found guilty of killing Ralph Millward

The Passage withdraws service "as a last resort"

New learning centre for Glasgow

iHobo game causes controversy

Auckland extends ban on rough sleepers

Homeless interrogation

Affordable housing development opens in Edinburgh

Who decides?

Credit unions

New counts are optional

Nobby on stage

I will never forget you, my people

London homeless services in limbo over ?Ǭ£3.28m cuts

Disused night shelter re-opened for winter months

Coventry Cyrenians forced to cut services

London hub success for new rough sleepers

Crisis Skylight in Birmingham - a year on

Residents look ahead to staff upheaval

Midland Heart report

Labour call for hefty council tax levy on empty homes

Stik pic for the American Church

Lottery grant means new opportunities

Mungo?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s launches women?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s campaign

Homeless people forced into slavery

Homeless couple marry in Australia

Number of homeless in Southend underestimated

Basic banking for all

NSNO expands into west London

Scottish homeless applications drop by 19 per cent

Miami cannibal

Invisible People film UK homeless

The demilitarised zone in North America’s drug war

2012 - the year of the right to permanent accommodation in Scotland?

Crisis at Christmas

The Pavement is recruiting

Rough sleeper donates $250 to charity

Food voucher scheme scrapped

Commemorating friends and companions

Human rights for all

First person: Gemskii on regaining control of her life

The shades come off

Upfront: spikes

Comment: Spikes are the least of your worries

Opinion: All up in smoke?

Heartbreak Hotel, episode 4.

The Pied Piper of Housing

March for the Homeless

Being homeless doesn't mean you can't vote on May 7

The vulnerability ruling

The Queen’s speech

Criminalising homelessness

116-bed hostel for young homeless to close in Southwark

Sponsor a bed and rebuild a life

Hipsters neutralise anti-homeless spikes

What the Brexit will happen now?

Anti-homelessness protesters threatened with eviction, jail by Manchester city council

Showing our impact

Rebirth

The birth of the North Gower Action Group

A pianist, an artist, a dog called George and a new homeless app

Living water

Midwinter blues?

Councils back change in law to tackle rising homelessness

Having problems with your JSA?

Mayoral hustings on homelessness

Skippering

A major step in reducing homelessness?

Liverpool Police homeless curb beggars belief

Charity begins at home?

Legal aid charade

Surviving the streets – by those who've done it

Stop the scandal

Glasgow homeless services at risk

Bill gives councils legal duty to stop homelessness

Homeless Grenfell survivors afraid of deportation

Content & Communications Officer

 

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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484