Today marks the first year of StreetLight Chicago! This free mobile app for homeless youth is a joint project of the Young Invincibles and the Youth Futures legal aid clinic at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, with generous support from the VNA Foundation.
StreetLight Chicago offers a database of resources for homeless and unaccompanied youth. The app provides youth with a centralized list of drop-in centers, shelters, health clinics, food pantries and services, including Youth Futures. Occasional push notifications are issued via the app when weather or program advisories are needed.
StreetLight Chicago realized 1,214 downloads in its first year, with 150 visits a week.
A desktop version – at www.streetlightchicago.org – was released in August. It mirrors the app’s resource information, with printable lists and improved navigation for users seeking directions. The website expands access to StreetLight resources for youth without cellphones and makes it easier for service providers to work with youth clients.
In the past year, the app expanded its food pantry listings and in February added a “Book a Bed” feature. This feature allows youth who work evening hours or attend night classes to reserve a bed at a La Casa Norte youth shelter, located at 1940 N. California Avenue.
As StreetLight Chicago continues to grow, users can expect to see expanded usability, more new features and consistent, reliable access to resource information.
Service providers should send any updates for the app to Content Manager Bridget Newsham at firstname.lastname@example.org