Scattergood Foundation

Advancing Innovative Strategies for Change in Behavioral Health

What Happened? App

Intervention Description
Hopeworks N Camden Trainees and Staff
Overall Description: 
Often, the hardest part of moving into a shelter is not the cramped space, the unfamiliar environment, or the group laundry. Key to taking full advantage of the opportunity provided by the shelter is understanding not “what’s wrong with you,” but “what happened to you.” This app, combined with wearables and in-room amenities, will allow residents to learn about their history in a safe and personalized way using their own personal electronic device. This design consists of three distinct but related parts. First, is the app. The app takes advantage of today’s ubiquitous electronic devices to take residents through a curated, game-like experience that helps them understand the impact of their own history and adverse childhood experiences. The second piece are the wearables related to the app. As residents progress through the app, they can “unlock” and, using provided materials, construct their safety bracelet. This bracelet, using images and metaphor, will help residents develop both a safety plan for emotional management and a self care plan for long term support of their healing. The third part of this design is the in-room amenities. As residents progress through the app, they will also unlock the ability to customize their physical environment in safe and economical ways. With the apps guidance and equipment like the Phillips HUE light bulb, residents will be able to use the app to adjust the color and intensity of lighting in their room to reflect their own moods and needs. In addition, using built in photo editing software and guidance, residents will be able to design their own posters and wall decorations reflecting their own history and narrative. At the push of a button, those posters will be sent for printing. Residents can decorate their room with posters that share their story and help them understand it.
Trauma-Informed: 
This product is truly trauma informed as it connects both the physical space and the wearables to the residents own growing understanding of trauma and their own history. In addition, by making this product both mobile and flexible, it can travel with residents long after they leave the shelter, and can also be easily modified to reflect new information, priorities, or treatment methods.
Originality: 
This product is an absolutely original design.
Impact: 
This product does something very important -- allows residents to both learn about the basics of understanding their own histories -- “what happened” in a private and personalized way. In addition, by “gamifying” the process -- allowing residents to produce decorations, wearables, and lighting based on their own self-discovery -- this product also allows residents to create a environment that is not just comfortable, but one that is based on their own personal narrative of healing. By tying this process of healing to not just a physical location, but an app, this product also reflects the reality of many individuals in the shelter system. Even if they move rooms, buildings, or cities, this app, and the learning and progress they make -- can stay with them, making sure the process of “starting over” that so many experience does happen with their learning. In addition, by making the app available across multiple platforms, this product ensures that it can be used by everyone. People can use their own devices, a desktop platform, or an inexpensive tablet or computer lab provided by a social service agency. No matter what platform, their progress is saved and they never have to “start over” in their learning, even if they have to start over in a new apartment, new city, or new job. Most importantly, if successful, this product can be replicated and scaled at very low cost. Once developed, the online platform can scale with very little overhead, and the physical pieces of the curriculum -- lighting, wearables, decorations -- represent relatively small costs that can easily be built into a residential budget.
Readiness: 
Preparing the product consists of three distinct phases. First, the app and supporting website must be developed. Those steps would require 2-4 months, and would include: Modification of the Hopeworks online trauma curriculum for a mobile friendly platform Setting up backend web support using custom or “off the shelf” solutions like Litmos.com Setting up print and hardware integration for on line printing of room decorations, lighting controls, and wearables The next phase of implementation would be connecting the app and its associated components to the actual shelter itself. This would table 2-3 weeks. These steps would include: Installation of wifi-enabled lightbulbs in room fixtures Creating and testing workflows for the printing and delivery of customized room decorations and wearables The final phase of the implementation would be the training of shelter staff in the app and online based trauma curriculum so they they understand both the process and intent of the educational product. Depending on shelter training schedules, this would take about 2-3 weeks.
Estimated Cost of Production: 
4 900.00
Do the production costs decrease as the number of units produced increases?: 
Yes
Space and Staffing Required: 
Once built, this product should not require any space beyond the resident’s room. For staffing, it may require about 2-4 hours per week for maintenance, helping new residents set up accounts, and troubleshooting. To make sure use of the app is fully realized, investment in one desktop workstation or an inexpensive tablet would also ensure that everyone can use the app.
Does your product require training of shelter staff to use appropriately?: 
Yes
Training Details: 
The final phase of the implementation would be the training of shelter staff in the app and online based trauma curriculum so they they understand both the process and intent of the educational product. Depending on shelter training schedules, this would take about 2-3 weeks.
Sustainability: 
This product can be replicated and scaled at very low cost. Once developed, the online platform can scale with very little overhead, and the physical pieces of the curriculum -- lighting, wearables, decorations -- represent relatively small costs that can easily be built into a residential budget. To support ongoing implementation across multiple locations, the app could be made available for a small fee on apps stores or be based on a subscription model. This way, more resourced programs and communities could subsidize those shelters and organizations unable to afford the cost.
Replicability: 
This product, based more on an individualized journey than on any particular physical configuration, is very replicable across multiple locations.
Evaluation: 
This product would be evaluated based on two important metrics. First, a pre- and post- tests contained at various points within the app itself would not only measure residents’ ACE score (important data that is often very hard to collect), but would also measure their growing understanding of their own trauma history and how it affects their own life trajectory. Second, evaluations built into the app would also measure residents’ comfort with both the shelter and their own rooms as they use the app to build key pieces of their own narrative (lighting, decorations, wearables) into their own space. This data would be used to measure the effectiveness of the app in psychoeducation and in making residents more comfortable and stable in their shelter housing. Since the data collection would be automatic, periodic reviews and revisions to the app would allow for extensive A/B testing and allow the app to continue to grow and increase its effectiveness.