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Advancements in technology are creating a cashless society and helping the unhoused population stay connected.

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With the decline in cash transactions and the rise of cashless payment systems, charitable organizations and advocates for the homeless are facing new challenges. Vendors like John Littlejohn, who used to sell the Street Sense newspaper to earn a living, are finding that fewer people carry cash, making it difficult to make a living. However, technological advancements are now helping these groups reach those most in need.

Street Sense developed a phone app that allows people to buy a copy of the paper electronically and have the profits go to the vendor. This has helped vendors like Littlejohn, who now has his own apartment and is no longer homeless. Charities like the Salvation Army have also adapted to accept cashless donations, with donors being able to tap their phones on the donation kettles to make payments.

However, the cashless world presents a particular challenge for the homeless, many of whom do not have bank accounts, identification documents, or fixed addresses required for electronic payment systems. To address this issue, some organizations have developed apps that not only allow cashless donations to the homeless but also connect them to support systems that can help get them off the streets.

Despite these efforts, there are still challenges in making cashless systems work for the homeless population. Some people do not have the temperament or physical ability to engage in activities like selling newspapers, while others have deeper mental or emotional issues that make it difficult to navigate through these systems. However, these efforts remain crucial in trying to bridge the gap and ensure that all individuals, regardless of their financial situation, have access to the support and resources they need.

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Photo credit apnews.com

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