Students at historically Black Bowie State University in Maryland have developed an electronic kiosk designed for aiding homeless people. The kiosk, which could be placed in urban areas with large numbers of homeless people, provides up-to-the-minute information about the availability of space in area shelters. The students recently demonstrated their kiosk before members of Congress at the Capitol Hill Maker Faire.
Using a minicomputer, wireless internet adapter, and computer monitor, the kiosk diplays real-time information about which local shelters have available food, clothing, or beds. A software program will form a network of local shelters that will make data on resource availability accessible to people on the street.
Courtney Lamar, an assistant professor of computer science at Bowie State and leader of the project, said that “many students do not graduate from college having created a model or an idea they developed to solve a real-life problem. These students will definitely have an edge on their peers when they enter the workforce.”