Helping Homes; Catch Me Up

Last summer, Australia experienced its worst bush fire season on record. Helping Homes was created in direct response.

Dan Ferguson
Helping Group
2 min readOct 23, 2021

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Photo by Josh Withers on Unsplash

Background

Last summer, Australia experienced its worst bush fire season on record. Helping Homes was created in direct response to the need for emergency accommodation, and its success surpassed all our expectations. That positive response has spurred us to think ambitiously about the coming bush fire season — how can we improve? Can we help more Aussies when they need it most?

As we continue to grow and optimize our service, the Helping Homes platform sits ready to reactivate when needed. Currently our inactive season website is live; very soon our active season version will take its place.

Innovation & Approach

As we approach the one year anniversary of Helping Homes, as well as the beginning of the fire season, we feel more prepared than ever. We’ve designed our websites to be welcoming and user-friendly — the highly visual layout features a Australia-wide map of accommodation offers, with a location search option. We have also made updates to our media page and about page, ensuring all information is current. Evacuating is a stressful event, and we want to ensure no one is overwhelmed when seeking shelter.

In October, our founder Daniel gave a radio interview on Geelong’s BayFM, speaking on Helping Group’s philosophy, and putting the call out to anyone who can offer room to pre-register with Helping Homes. We’ve also sent out texts to previously registered Helping Homes users, asking them to register again this year. This is our top priority right now — heightening community awareness of the platform and encouraging active participation.

Outcomes

Helping Homes is a seasonal initiative. Right now, during the bush fire off-season, we are focused on driving pre-registration and expanding our social media presence. This means that when the country is once again fighting fires, our platform is ready, active, and effective.

As we near the end of 2020, a trying year like no other, we brace again for the destructive potential of the bush fire season. Helping Homes is a source of hope and strength for Australia, and while it is hard to predict where fires will emerge, which states, which towns, we are prepared for anything.

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Dan Ferguson
Helping Group

A solutions architect and software developer with an understanding of holistic design; seeking to create digitally enabled change for good.