DCU startup seeks to double funding for homelessness app

Áine O'Boyle

GiveBack.ie was co-founded by James Gallagher and Victoria Ryan-Nesbitt

A group of DCU students are enlisting public support in their mission to eradicate homelessness in Ireland. 

The start-up, GiveBack.ie, recently won funding of €50,000 with the Google.org Impact Challenge and are looking for the public to vote for them in order to double this funding to €100,000.

“Doubling our funding will help support the work we do in partnership with Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH), allow us to scale our operations, and bring us one step closer to realising our shared vision of ending the homelessness crisis in Dublin through a transitional housing program,” said co-founder of GiveBack.ie James Gallagher.

Co-founder Victoria Ryan-Nesbitt said she was walking down Abbey Street several years ago and saw a homeless woman wearing a jacket with her secondary school crest on it, looking for spare change.

“This really made the message hit home for me that homelessness can affect anyone, and it gave James and I the motivation to try do whatever we could to help solve the homelessness crisis,” she said.

GiveBack.ie can be downloaded as a Google Chrome extension. When an online purchase is made, a percentage of the total cost of the purchase is donated to ICHH, without any extra cost to the consumer.

“The funds raised through the GiveBack.ie app will be initially used to directly fund transitional housing with onsite wrap around supports for those who are forced to rough sleep. This has the potential to seriously impact the way in which we challenge homelessness in Ireland,”  said CEO and co-founder of ICHH Anthony Flynn.

“I co-founded GiveBack.ie with Victoria because we wanted to empower those that did not have a voice. Ireland’s rate of child homelessness is the highest in Europe and this should not be morally acceptable on any level,” said Gallagher.

GiveBack.ie has partnered with several large-scale retailers, including Amazon, ASOS and Hotels.com.

In October 2018, they worked in conjunction with Enactus DCU to represent Ireland in the Enactus World Cup, held in Silicon Valley.

“We want to show that students can make a difference and that homelessness is not normal. There are systemic factors that have led to the current crisis – if we address those, as other countries have done, we too can make ending homelessness a reality, instead of merely managing homelessness as is the philosophy of our current government,” said Gallagher.

The public can vote in the Google.org Impact Challenge Dublin at https://impactchallenge.withgoogle.com/dublin2018

 

Áine O’Boyle

Image Credit: DCU