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How to assist the homeless with Google Maps


How to assist the homeless with Google Maps

Google Maps is used by Ashley Sundquist for more than just navigation. She is transforming it into a priceless tool for those experiencing homelessness in her neighborhood.

In Santa Monica, where she resides, Sundquist has developed relationships with a few members of the homeless population. Wherever she lives, whether in Los Angeles or one of the several East Coast cities she has previously called home, she has long developed the habit of connecting with this community. One of them, a man named Joe who frequently congregated in front of a nearby library, was the subject of her conversation in January 2020. Sundquist enquired as to how she could assist, and he replied that although he was aware that the neighborhood offered resources for the homeless, he was having problems locating them.

A map was required.

Sundquist had the solution because she was a Google Maps Local Guide, a person who provides written reviews, images, and fact-checking data to assist others learn more about locations on Google Maps. In order to find Joe a list of homeless shelters in Los Angeles County, she searched via regional websites and used Google Maps.

Sundquist's ultimate goal was to increase the accessibility of resources for those who are homeless. According to Sundquist, "I could instantly understand how difficult it would be to traverse all of these websites, especially if someone is already dealing with mental health problems or they have restricted access to computers...

Joe was astounded by her first map and asked her to create others. Since then, she has created ones to assist residents of Los Angeles County in locating free meals, free showers, mental health services, EBT-eligible businesses, and assistance for homeless young people. Additionally, she has developed COVID-specific resources, such as areas with free WiFi and fast food joints that give Santa Monica people free meals during the pandemic.

She claims that the information was always available. It simply needed to be gathered in one location.

"Something about always having a map ensures that you will never lose it. You only need the link, "Sundquist clarifies.

Sundquist isn't the only individual to create resources like these, but Google Maps was interested in her listings because it had never heard of someone using its resources in this manner.

According to a Google Maps spokeswoman, the majority of users store destinations they want to visit or remember using Google Maps lists. On the other side, Sundquist's lists emphasize serving others over self-promotion. They also benefit from her local knowledge, such as when she knows if a church provides free lunches. Due to the possibility that Google Maps as a company may not have this information, Sundquist's local knowledge is valuable.

According to the spokesman, Sundquist's efforts might encourage additional people to make lists similar to hers.

In fact, Sundquist has received communications from people who wish to carry out the same task in their communities in 20 different nations and three American towns.

They are regular folks who wish to make a difference in their communities in small ways, according to Sundquist. "We could help so many people if everyone could do something like this in their community."

Every note has been answered, and she offers assistance when she can, like showing someone how to create a Google Map.

She claims, "This isn't about me, it's not about what I'm doing. It's about what other people can do, too.

How to interact with the local homeless population:

You can get in touch with Sundquist through her Instagram, website, or LinkedIn if you need assistance creating Google Maps that connect residents of your city with resources.

As she did with Joe, she also advises getting to know homeless community members in order to hear their individual stories and better understand their needs.

Before rushing to create your own answer based on your own assumption, you can grasp the needs and the difficulties, according to Sundquist.

then look for neighborhood services for homeless persons. Use Google Maps to look up shelters, food banks, and other such groups. Visit their websites to learn more about the intake application process and meal plans. Call these facilities to learn more about their requirements for staying there, if they provide transportation, and the availability of beds.

After gathering this data, follow these procedures to create a Google Maps list.


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