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Tech+Social Good = ATL Based Project Revitalizing Haitian Neighborhoods

by Ryan Waller

We all remember the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. It is common knowledge that those affected lost pretty much everything, yet most don’t realize that many of these families are still without homes. To solve this problem an Atlanta based project called New Story, is leveraging technology for social good. Their mission is to get homeless families in Haiti into a brand new house in 2 months or less. Founded in September of this year, New Story’s crowdfunding platform has already funded 2 new homes for families.

Founders Brett Hagler and Mike Arrieta first volunteered in Leveque, Haiti with New Story partner Mission of Hope (MoH) in 2012. While there they saw the intense need for housing and decided to take action. Inspired by best practices in the technology and business communities, they put together a committed team to found New Story.

How does it work? First, MoH screens families experiencing life-threatening homelessness and they are introduced to New Story. Then, donors connect with families and engage with a kickstarter-esque crowdfunding platform to contribute towards a goal of $6000 which builds one home. After all is said and done, donors get to see video footage of the receiving family and the new story they helped create.

Our approach goes beyond building homes. When a basic need like shelter is met, struggling families can focus their attention on work and school. Families can progress socially and economically, which can catalyze the upward mobility of entire communities. We are thinking long term. We are visualizing our role in ending poverty. – Alexandria Lafci, the head of operations

People are often hesitant to donate to charities, as they are not sure exactly what their money is accomplishing. New Story, however, practices a 100% model–every penny donated goes directly toward building a home for the exact family you donate to. To preserve this commitment and keep the lights on they need investors to support operational costs. To meet this need, an Atlanta based technology solutions company, Data Blue, has stepped in as New Story’s first donor-investor.

In the spirit of the holiday season, please consider donating to the cause

[Photo Credit]

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