The release of a smart phone app for New Mexico’s largest homeless shelter this week was simply the next logical step, said Joy Junction founder and CEO Dr. Jeremy Reynalds.
Making people aware of not only the services provided at the Albuquerque emergency shelter, but the plight of the homeless is what’s most important, Reynalds said.
“Having the application available is right in line with our desire to tell the homeless story to more people,” he told The Christian Post. “This app is just a series of the many items we use to heighten awareness and get rid of the preconceived notions about the homeless.”
Reynalds said he would like people to not be judgmental when looking at homeless people and rather be concerned about finding a way to help them. “Because a person is homeless through a series of circumstances, it doesn’t mean they are lazy,” he said.
The app for Android devices includes a way for users to donate to Joy Junction through PayPal and fulfill any of the items on the shelter’s wish list through Dollar Days. The wish list for the group includes items such as shaving cream, razors, shampoo, and other toiletries. A GPS location feature provides driving directions and links to other emergency resources.
The idea for the app came from a former homeless person who was helped by Joy Junction and is now a volunteer coordinator for the organization, Reynalds said. Jonathan Magheny had an IT background and was able to connect with friends in the industry, including a friend who worked for Dezine Studios, the company that designed the app. The tech company donated their services for the app.
“Helping to expand the reach of Joy Junction via a mobile application strengthens their ability to provide services to a growing, under-represented population,” stated a Dezine Studios spokesperson. “We are proud to help them in this endeavor.”
Joy Junction bills itself as a faith-based church ministry and reports serving about 300 people daily, including about 80 children.
Reynalds recently told The Christian Post: "Homeless people are not typically unskilled in the areas needed in the job market. However, many times for a number of reasons they lack the life skills necessary to keep a job or to persuade an employer to hire them.
"We do our best at Joy Junction to help our program participants succeed and be all that the Lord intended them to be."
Reynalds said an iPhone application for Joy Junction will be ready sometime in the coming months.