Homeless charity uses drones to find rural rough sleepers

Digital eyes in the sky save time and bring operational efficiencies to Lincolnshire social enterprise support workers’ speed-to-action.

James Hayes | 9th Aug 18
Lincolnshire charity P3 is using a drone to hep locate and help people sleeping rough in rural areas.

Charity P3’s Lincolnshire Street Outreach Team are using aerial video from a drone to assist support workers looking for people sleeping rough in remote rural and coastal locations across the region.

Live-streamed video from the drone is assessed by team members so that they can direct their colleagues to the rough sleeper via the quickest and safest route.

Assistive technology will lead to more positive outcomes for people sleeping rough in the county, said P3 Service Co-ordinator Andy Lee: “This technology evolutionises our ability to direct rapid support to vulnerable people sleeping rough. Often when we receive information from the public letting us know about someone sleeping rough the location is vague – for example, ‘in the sand dunes along the North Shore’ or ‘down the public footpath and across the field’ – and of course sometimes the person has also moved on from this location.”

Lee added: “Because the drone will help us to search relatively vast areas within a relatively short period of time, we will be able to locate people much faster, assess the easiest and safest route to access their location and guide our support workers remotely to them. It will prove to be an invaluable asset, because time is always the key factor when we’re trying to find someone.”

“Being able to reach a person, assess their situation and begin working with them – after receiving that call from the general public – means our energies can be refocussed to ensure the person receives the right support, is safely accommodated and can begin the process of rebuilding their life.”

 

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