San Francisco State, USA
A system for providing permanent mailing addresses to the homeless population.
Thanks for your presentation! What are the benefits of using DenMail over a traditional PO Box? How will the DenMail advocates be identified (as they seem to be a key piece in this process)?
Thank you Dr. Garvey for your questions. Q1: What are the benefits of using DenMail over a traditional PO Box? While a PO box is an available method to receive mail, it can be difficult to sign up for one without already having an address. The person may not have the necessary funds to pay for that box. The specific location may also be in short supply of PO boxes, so they may not be able to accommodate additional users depending on where they are located within a city. A PO Box can’t be used to open a new bank… Read more »
Hello! Do you have any insights into how long your target client base typically resides at a given encampment? I’m wondering about how much staff time would be required to find and deliver mail to your clients. Thanks for the presentation.
Thank you Ms. Alexander for your questions. Q1: Do you have any insights into how long your target client base typically resides at a given encampment? There are many reasons as to why a person might have ended up living within an encampment. With that, being able to estimate a time frame for how long they might reside at an encampment can be difficult. You might find one person residing at an encampment for six months and another person could reside there for two or more years. The length of time that people spend unhoused depends on their personal circumstances.… Read more »
Congratulations. Are there security or privacy concerns with this approach? Couldn’t this cost be applied to a PO box and get around privacy issues?
Thank you for your questions Dr. Goldstein. Q: Are there security or privacy concerns with this approach? Couldn’t this cost be applied to a PO box and get around privacy issues? For Denmail, enrolled members would have to sign a release of liability USPS Form 1583 which authorizes Denmail to handle their mail. We would plan to hire at least two full-time employees for handling the sorting/delivery, this number could increase depending on the volume of people and mail that comes through the service. By hiring employees rather than having volunteers, there will be a background check involved to help… Read more »
Hello folks, trying to understand the logistics here. As my colleagues point out, the PO Box seems an existing solution, but I understand your point about needing a physical street address for some institutional accounts. How will you track the individual entity as they move encampments? Who is responsible for (1) picking up mail from various locations; (2) ensuring the timely delivery of sensitive mail to the recipients; and (3) how will this temp staff be compensated? For (3), I can perhaps see a volunteer initiative, however I’m curious about the legal implications of ensuring correct delivery for sensitive mail,… Read more »
Thank you Ms. Jonak for your questions. Q1: How will you track the individual entity as they move encampments? Denmail would provide mail services to city-sanctioned encampments. Sanctioned encampments are managed by the city with more sanitary environments, with reduced risk of the site being shut down. Therefore they are less likely to be uprooted and moved. Also, as we frequently contact the encampments’ advocates/ leaders, we will check if there are any changes to the encampment or the number of residents. When a homeless person signs up for Denmail service, their Denmail ID information will be stored for our… Read more »
Thank you for your presentation. I have a few questions:
1. what is your expectation on the manpower needed to sort and deliver the mail to the right recipient? What is your business case for this proposal?
2. how will privacy be handled?
3. will there be a limit to the number of recipients each location can handle?
4. did you look into linking your idea to a governmental agency?
Thank you Ms. Nakagawa for your questions: Q1: What is your expectation on the manpower needed to sort and deliver the mail to the right recipient? What is your business case for this proposal? For our initial estimate of at least 500 Denmail members, we would hire two full-time employees to pick up mail from donor organizations, sort envelopes and then coordinate with encampment leadership regarding delivery/drop off. It will give an opportunity for unhoused people to receive mail and get benefits from the government in a timely manner. To fully understand the problem areas as well as benefits of… Read more »
Hello, Thanks for sharing your work.
I see other judges have covered most privacy concerns which is one of the main concerns of mine as well, so I wanted to ask a more business oriented question on how a service like this would be sustainable/profitable. The service would incur cost to run but I was wondering how it would generate income to sustain your projects mission.
Thanks again and good luck.
Thank you Ms. Carrasco for your question. Q: … I wanted to ask a more business oriented question on how a service like this would be sustainable/profitable. The service would incur cost to run but I was wondering how it would generate income to sustain your projects mission. Yes, you’re correct in that this service would incur costs to run. From our perspective, the goal of this project was to bring a service to the homeless encampment communities that would assist them in creating a clearer path out of homelessness by having increased access to mail. So while we may… Read more »