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NEC's Digital ID : Institute for Human Services (Hawaii) Case Study [2:47]

Movie script

Around the world, homelessness is a pressing issue, leaving many without basic essentials such as shelter, food, and healthcare.

The island of Hawaii is facing a rise of homelessness and is aiming to provide a roof over every head, and medical and social services to keep everyone on their feet.

Leading the charge is a Hawaii-based non-profit organization known as the Institute for Human Services (IHS).

The IHS faced three challenges:

verifying homeless client identities,

efficiently collecting quality data from encounters during outreach,

and gathering insights from the collected data to make data-driven decisions.

"So when we see a homeless client, I think the biggest obstacle or the biggest thing that we want to do is find out who they are and if they have any case management services in place."

To better verify client identities, the IHS leverages on world-class face recognition technology provided by NEC.

Digital identities are provided to the homeless to ensure that they can receive follow-up care and attention, instead of every interaction feeling like a one-off encounter.

When encountering homeless people during outreach, staff use mobile phones to log down all collected information.

"We are actually matching up a technology company such as NEC and we are looking at a problem that our community partner has, and we have worked together to create a solution that helps them do their jobs better."

NEC has worked with stakeholders to develop a mobile application based on their digital platform which integrates face recognition via an API.

Through the deployment of this innovative system, every homeless individual now has a unique Digital ID, enabling IHS workers to access consistent and accurate records.

"I think ultimately technology has the power to help us end homelessness more quickly. And when that happens, I think everybody benefits. It's a win, win, win for the person we're serving, for my staff we're serving them and for the community in which they live."

As a future vision, the project aims to establish a community-wide homeless care coordination system to share data with community partners using NEC digital ID as the common identifier.

NEC works with partners to solve social issues and build a stronger and more inclusive society.

Orchestrating a brighter world


In Hawaii, The Institute for Human Services (IHS), NEC, and Technology Readiness User Evaluation (TRUE) have collaborated to leverage biometric authentication technology to tackle the rising issue of homelessness on the island.

By rolling out world-class face recognition technology to verify client identities, social workers can provide every person with digital IDs necessary to receive follow-up care, even without ID documents.

Watch the video below to see how we're working together to ensure everyone has a roof over their head.

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(February 21, 2024)