Technology for social justice
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Ask Izzy data points to domestic violence victims in most need of housing support

Please note the Ask Izzy Open Data Platform has been retired. If you are interested in accessing our search directory data, please get in touch.

In the lead up to the release of 2016 Census data, we look at what our own Ask Izzy data is telling us about the state of homelessness in Australia.

It’s been more than 12 months since we launched Ask Izzy, the mobile website that connects people who are homeless with essential support services.

In that time, we’ve had nearly 300 000 searches on the site. And from those searches, a clear picture is starting to emerge – that the biggest users of Ask Izzy are women and children fleeing domestic violence.

It’s a sad statistic, but it also shows that Ask Izzy’s data is in line with national statistics that say domestic and family violence is the largest single cause of homelessness in Australia.

This scenario is all too familiar for Nicole*, who suddenly found herself out on the street after fleeing from an abusive partner.

“I didn’t even have time to grab my handbag - no ID, nothing. I just left and I ran. I was living in the country so I hitchhiked to Melbourne,” Nicole says.

“When I got to Melbourne I just thought, I’m not going back, I can’t go to any friends or family for support, so I just have to work it out from here.”

Ask Izzy aims to help people like Nicole by asking questions about what they need and then showing the nearby services that can help. While all data is anonymous, the information collected from these searches is vital for understanding where more help is needed.

While the first round of census data will be released on 11 April, Ask Izzy data will be used for our upcoming open data project. The project will extend the range of data available to the sector and help inform how to provide better outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. The project is due for release later in 2017.

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Find out more about Ask Izzy

*Name has been changed to protect the individual’s identity.

Filed in: Housing and homelessness | Tagged as: Ask Izzy

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