Enactus Pitchfest — A Hostel for the Homeless

Hostel for the Homeless

Back at it again with an Enactus hackathon! The first time I joined the Enactus Pitchfest, my team came up with the idea of career diaries for high school students.

This time, we were given three issues to choose from — homelessness, environmental degradation and education. My team decided to address youth homelessness in Tasmania.

The idea: a hostel to house and employ the homeless

After some brainstorming, we came up with the idea of a combined hostel and cafe that would shelter and employ homeless youth to provide a long-term solution to help them get back on their feet.

To be honest, our solution was quite random. We picked a property in Tasmania because we found that the tourism stats were quite high… but we had no idea what the youth homelessness situation was really like there.

I think this really underscored the importance of solving a problem that you have personally experienced or have intimate knowledge about. My team members were absolutely amazing at doing research and coming up with lots of ideas, but I felt like we didn’t really understand the problem.

Enactus Pitchfest 2017

Unemployment, financial difficulty and a lack of housing are quite obvious challenges that these youths face, but we didn’t manage to dig any deeper into the root causes. And since these things need to come together in a very short period of time, we didn’t manage to validate our solution either.

The solution did sound quite awesome in our minds but I think we fell into the trap of diving too deep into the solution without really ensuring that the problem was clearly defined. Nonetheless, I still had an awesome time and learned a lot about the Tasmanian tourism industry!

Check out my other hackathon experiences here.

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