One of the biggest social problems in the United States is that of homelessness. And no city is more affected than San Francisco.
But despite the city’s generous social welfare programs, many inhabitants of the world’s largest technology hub are surprisingly unsympathetic to the plight of the homeless. But with the help of augmented reality, Lava Mae hopes to change all that.
Lava Mae — best known for providing mobile showers for the homeless citizens of San Francisco — has decided to team up with an art and technology network, Zero 1, in order to bring awareness to the plight of displaced individuals living in the city.
The exhibit itself is designed to make the stories of the homeless more real by adding a personal element to what is an otherwise abrupt interaction. Even in San Francisco, people tend to brush off the homeless as a minor irritation. The hope is that once they are exposed to the life stories of these individuals, they’ll be seen as actual human beings and not merely a nuisance.
Amy Schoening, Lava Mae’s director of arts, had this to say about the initiative:
“What we’re hoping happens through is that through art and through the artists’ ability to short circuit the brain and go to the heart, that we can connect with one another, that we see that we have a shared humanity, that we are more alike than we are different.”
While it’s likely that this single augmented reality art exhibit is not going to instantly solve the homeless problem in San Francisco, it’s entirely possible that it will generate some goodwill towards them. And with an epidemic as massive as the homelessness problem in America, every little bit helps.
What do you think about Lava Mae’s augmented reality initiative to help the homeless? Let us know in a comment!