Category Archive Clients Doing Good

3 Tips to Conducting a Successful PIT Count

According to HUD Exchange, “The Point-in-Time (PIT) count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January. HUD requires that Continuums of Care (CoCs) conduct an annual count of homeless persons who are sheltered in emergency shelter, transitional housing, and Safe Havens on a single night.”

This year we’ve partnered with 5 unique organizations to conduct their 2020 Point-in-Time counts, from which we have come up with these 3 tips for conducting a successful count:

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Grassroots Unwired goes on tour

As a major band’s concert tour kicked off in Vancouver in May, then continued to travel through the US, Europe and South America, the ONE Campaign, the campaigning, and advocacy organization of nearly eight million people around the world, has been setting up shop at stadiums across North America to generate support from concertgoers in the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease. To facilitate the actions taken by concertgoers, ONE has been traveling with the Grassroots Unwired mobile platform!

Concertgoers are asked their country of origin and based on their response are presented with a digital letter or petition that they are asked to sign. ONE loaded 13 different letters into the app and using GRU’s randomization technology, ensures that there are a variety of messages being delivered. We even give them the ability to customize each letter by allowing people to write a personal message within the text of the letter.

Those letters are then sent to a member of the U.S. Senate or another public official and all the data is added to the ONE’s ActionKit instance in real time.

ONE is dedicated to making a real difference around the globe and we couldn’t be prouder that they are using our tech to make their work more efficient and effective.

Request a meeting to see how Grassroots Unwired can enhance your field program too!


Client Spotlight: Human Rights Campaign

Use Case: Event-Based Member Recruitment and Grassroots Advocacy
The Challenge?

Online advocacy tools are ubiquitous. But what do you do at a huge outdoor social event where you can’t be in front of a computer and connectivity is always dicey plus the pace is super fast and you have multiple locations across the country at the same time?

Human Rights Campaign needed a solution to collect member and supporter information that was safe, secure, accurate, and available on a national level in real-time. It was also important that their new donors were followed-up with and thanked as soon as possible after the interaction at a Pride booth.

Grassroots Unwired worked with HRC to ensure that our platform met every need they had. The “off the chart” numbers they produced this past summer tell the story.
HRC has been using the Grassroots Unwired platform for their street canvassing efforts for about a year now. When the Pride team saw the awesome impact our tech was having on their canvassing numbers, they wanted in.

Use Case: Event-Based Member Recruitment and Advocacy

Between March and November of each year, HRC has a presence at 250 Pride events in 48 states, DC and Puerto Rico. Read More

Grassroots Unwired Brings Unique Mobile Tech To the 2017 Homeless Census

Grassroots Unwired Brings Unique Mobile Tech To the 2017 Homeless Census

Official Press Release

Mobile software company Grassroots Unwired is teaming up with Continuums of Care (CoC) led by local non-profits to transition HUD’s (Housing and Urban Development) yearly homeless census from paper and clipboards to tablet powered mobile software. These “Point-in-Time” (PIT) counts typically take place late in January over one or several nights, and the results are used by HUD to determine funding levels for a community’s homeless advocacy problems.

The need for accurate data, collected efficiently was the driving force behind the technology built by Grassroots Unwired. Building on successful 2016 pilots in Houston and Philadelphia, Grassroots Unwired will be expanding its partnerships to areas in California and Indianapolis. In partnership with the Coalition for the Homeless in Houston, Project HOME and Valley Youth House in Philadelphia, Grassroots Unwired perfected a mobile app that allows volunteers to press and swipe answers to survey questions instead of fumbling with the a paper and clipboard at night.

This app not only digitizes the HUD driven survey but gives the site managers an ability to monitor volunteers who go on-site which helps insure safety and accurate data collection. The fact that the app works with or without a data connection means that volunteers can continue to do their work in low connectivity areas like subway stations.

After the count is over, days of manual data entry are eliminated because all the data collected in the field is databased in real time the night of the count. And with paper, there was always the possibility of a poorly written survey leading to disqualifying an individual from the count. Communities could lose large sums of public funding if their Homeless census data is not accurate.

HUD requires this data to be reported in order to determine public funding that gets provided to each community to support public programs. Non-Profits will train and send volunteers to Emergency Shelters; Transitional Housing Units; Rapid Re-housing Programs; Safe Haven’s; and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs along with known areas where unsheltered individuals live to perform the surveys. While the survey has some standard questions required by HUD, many non-profits offer additional services and use the customizable nature of the platform to design scripts that are specific to their own programs.

For Grassroots Unwired, the ability to build technology that can make a social impact is why the company was founded. Said CEO Russ Oster, “So many of these folks just need a helping hand. And if our technology, used by awesome organizations like Project Home, can speed up the delivery of that help, then we’re honored to be a part of the effort.”

Sierra Club & Absentee Ballot Requests

We recently partnered with The Sierra Club’s Georgia Chapter who has devised a plan to contact voters and make it easy for them to fill out an absentee ballot request form. Canvassers are going door-to-door, talking to people about  upcoming election choices and helping them with their voter plan. Unlike past cycles, this year they  made the switch from carrying around paper walk sheets and dozens of voter registration and absentee ballot request forms to our platform.


By using the Grassroots Unwired platform, canvassers can have voters fill out the absentee ballot request form on a tablet. They can even sign it digitally, and have it sent automatically to the appropriate county registrar’s office in Georgia. By switching to the Grassroots Unwired platform , ballot requests are more accurate and since the , the whole process is paperless, the data collected is saved securely in the database.

The ability to vote by absentee ballot is an essential part of modern elections. For those who  cannot get to the polls for health, work, or extended travel reasons, it allows them the opportunity to have their voices heard in elections ranging from local to national.

The collaboration between The Sierra Club and Grassroots Unwired has provided a possibly underserved or marginalized voter group with an opportunity for both personal contact to learn about their choices and a chance to take action on issues that might be to interest to them sponsored by the Sierra Club.

Homeless Outreach

Using new tech to survey Philly’s homeless youth

A new initiative to better track data and respond to the growing homeless youth population in Philadelphia is using digital device to improve their count logistics.

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