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Homeless Nation

September 22, 2009

Homeless Nation is the only website in the world created by and for the street community. A non-profit project founded by Daniel Cross, a documentary filmmaker whose films deal with social justice and Canada’s homeless.

Homeless Street Archive (HSA) is a not-for profit organization based in Montreal, Canada. In order to bridge the digital divide, documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross founded HSA and created http://www.HomelessNation.org in 2003. HomelessNation.org gives people on the street the opportunity to control their own voice and engage the public in a safe and supportive forum. Outreach workers with lived experience on the street, teach computer and media skills to facilitate self-expression, build self-esteem and strengthen community involvement. HSA helps individuals access resources, find housing and employment opportunities, re-connect with family and make healthier life choices to transition off the street. The website has 5000 members and has been growing quickly during these hard economic times. From: http://www.eyesteelfilm.com

Karen Pinchin, Globe and Mail (September 22, 2009): Homeless Find Hope Through Internet, Technology.

On the non-profit networking site, founded in 2003 by Montreal documentary filmmaker Daniel Cross, homeless people can set up profiles, blog about their lives or about issues, upload video and audio and share advice, tips and news. Nearly 4,500 people have signed up. The site has won numerous awards and most recently beat out 20,000 other entries to win a 2009 World Summit Award for “e-inclusion and participation” from the United Nations.

The site also has a section for missing persons, and recently started a Homeless News webcast, with zany sports, weather and entertainment segments alongside serious news pieces about shelter closures. Although most of the initial start-up funding came from the Canada Arts Council and the National Film Board, that initial cash has dried up, says Brett Gaylor, one of the site’s co-founders. Without new sponsors or funding, the future of the site is in jeopardy.


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