I have a friend who works for one of the major human support services in Edmonton. When it comes to raising the profile of homelessness, agencies struggle to bridge the gap and strike an empathetic chord with the general public. In large part, this is probably due to the general misconceptions about the homeless that are out there. The majority of us (thankfully) have never experienced being on the street, but, as the saying goes, you just don’t know until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes.
Virtual reality (VR) might provide a major opportunity for organizations that are combatting homelessness to tell the story. If done right, we can give the general public a little sense of what it’s like to be on the street without demeaning those that are going through it.
Here are some humanitarian efforts that are using VR. Could it work for Alberta’s streets?