Homeless Nation

November 19, 2008 16:40 ET

Website By Homeless Canadians Earns Awards At Home And Abroad

Winning website is by, for, and about Canadians who have experienced homelessness

Attention: Arts/Entertainment Editor, Lifestyle Editor, Media Editor, News Editor, Tech/Telecomm Editor MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADIAN NON-PROFIT WINS AWARDS--(Marketwire - Nov. 19, 2008) - Canada's unique website, www.homelessnation.org, has walked away with two awards for excellence-a prestigious Canadian New Media Award (CNMA) presented in Toronto, November 18; and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) Award for Excellence in New Communications Award for New Media Creation/Social Media Production, presented at an awards gala in Cambridge Mass., on Friday, November 14.

www.homelessnation.org (http://www.homelessnation.org) is a Montreal-based not-for-profit organization that uses new media technologies to empower Canadians living on the street, without shelter, without access to media and basic survival information. Since its inception in 2003, www.homelessnation.org has evolved into a trusted source on where and how to procure food, shelter, medical, legal, and social services. Most importantly, it is a place, a virtual home, where people can express themselves, share their stories, and stay connected with friends and family. Members can also report missing people, organize community events, create podcasts and follow local news. www.homelessnation.org is a website by, for, and about Canadians who have experienced homelessness and the site is adapted and updated by them, according to their needs and interests.

In thanking both the CNMA and the SNCR for the awards, Daniel Cross, founder of www.homelessnation.org, stressed, "These awards show that individuals who have experienced homelessness, or have for too long been marginalized and ignored, now have a voice in mainstream society - and that with the right tools and training, they can and will make their voices heard."

The Canadian New Media Awards (http://www.cnma.ca) recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and companies in the Canadian new media industry. Now in its eighth year, the CNMA still offers the premiere forum for promoting and honouring achievement in this very dynamic industry.

"www.homelessnation.org's program is a great example of the successful and innovative use of new communications solutions and social media practices to enhance communications and relationships," commented Mike Manuel, SNCR Best Practices committee chairman.

The Society for New Communications Research (http://sncr.org) is a global nonprofit foundation dedicated to the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications and their effect on traditional media and business models, communications, culture and society.

All the winning case studies submitted to this year's SNCR awards program have been published in New Communications Review at http://www.newcommreview.com/index.php?s=awards.

Through the www.homelessnation.org website, the freedom of the Internet coupled with an innovative use of open-source software has brought limitless possibilities to a greatly marginalized and stigmatized population. Outreach workers provide the expertise and encouragement to show people how to express their lived experience by teaching them how to use computers, the Internet and how to shoot, edit and upload their own short films. Individuals are given full support to share their stories, vent their frustrations, and pass on their knowledge through blogs, podcasts, testimonials and videos.

www.homelessnation.org is striving to reduce the digital divide that is increasingly seperating the "haves" from the "have-nots" in our society by providing the necessary tools and skills to those who need them most. Today the site is a gallery of unique and poignant works of art depicting the harsh truths of everyday life on the street - broadening our connection to the human family.

The site has been produced in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Federal Government Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseils des arts et des letters du Québec (CALQ), Concordia University, Fonds de recherché sur la socièté et la culture (FQRSC) and the film production company EYESTEELFILM.

www.homelessnation.org has succesfully completed its original mandate as a 3-year pilot project and is vigorously seeking new avenues of funding.
/For further information: www.homelessnation.org/ IN: MEDIA, SOCIAL, TECHNOLOGY

Contact Information

  • Chris Aung-Thwin, National Coordinator, Homeless Nation
    Primary Phone: 514-315-8695
    Secondary Phone: 514-979-5120
    E-mail: aungthwin@gmail.com