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Ask Izzy expands services

Finding help for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made easier.

Finding help for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who make up almost a quarter of those supported by Australia’s homeless services, is often a struggle.

That’s all about to change with the release of the redesigned Ask Izzy mobile website that now allows users to search for dedicated housing, health, food services and much more.

Since it was launched in January 2016 by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Ask Izzy has had more than 500 000 searches for help with over 10 percent of users identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

With almost 80 percent of people who are homeless owning a smartphone, Infoxchange CEO David Spriggs said mobile technology provides an easy way to help people find support.

“We believe Ask Izzy is a vital tool for individuals and organisations working with Aboriginal communities,” Spriggs said.

“It will help to find the right services to support people facing challenges.”

The redesigned website aims to break down the barriers of people sometimes feeling ashamed and overwhelmed when seeking support, and instead helps them to feel welcome and included.

Dan Laws, Coordinator of the Aboriginal Homelessness Network at Ngwala Willumbong, has assisted Infoxchange in reaching out to local communities and said this project has been a long time coming.

“Feedback from community has been one of ‘at last’ in terms of Ask Izzy’s helpfulness,” Laws said.

“As an Aboriginal person and one who works in the homelessness and family violence sectors, I have found the website to be beneficial to me as a reference guide, but more importantly to the people we support.”

Changes effecting indigenous people across Ask Izzy include:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander service listings can now be prioritised across a number of categories, including housing, health, support and counselling, legal and finding work.
  • Over 1500 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services have been added or updated this year and there are now over 16 000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services on Ask Izzy.

Ask Izzy was developed by Infoxchange in partnership with Google, REA Group and News Corp Australia. Ask Izzy for Victoria Aboriginal Communities was funded by the Victorian Government’s Public Sector Innovation Fund.

 

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