New app identifies needs in vulnerable Colorado communities

DENVER — Bringing good Samaritans into the digital age, a new app tries to connect people willing to give to those in need.

“We want people to find purpose through their own generosity,” said Co-Founder of Purposely Jamie Rife. “You turn to Facebook for friends, you turn to Google for data. We want you to turn to Purposity to do good.”

The app finds needs in your community based on your location. Instead of a news feed, you can scroll through stories of the challenges people are facing, and what they need to move forward. Purposity partners with Denver Public Schools, to help vulnerable families with kids in school.

“A lot of our students are coming to school not getting the same education as others because they’re missing things like shoes, backpacks, a bed to sleep in at night,” Rife said.

The app is live in 31 cities across the country, and the Denver metro area is the second area they’ve started a presence.

The app went live in Denver in late November of 2018.

Scrolling through, you see stories from Denver Public Schools about a former homeless single mother of three who needs a microwave, to posts from Volunteers of America about a homeless veteran who is finally moving into a home after 25 years on the streets who needs a basic set of dinnerware.

The stories are general, and don’t give away any personal information.

“To be able to have that identified need and identified solution is just tremendous,” said Theo Hanson with Volunteers of America who helps Denver homeless find housing. “When we move someone into a unit, we like to ask for cleaning supplies, some clothing perhaps. We’ve ordered entire outfits from Purposityand received them within a few days.”

Hanson says they use the app to help individuals who are in positions where they need to chose between purchasing necessities and paying rent.

So far, more than 16,000 people nationally have helped roughly 1,600 people in Denver and Aurora through the app.

“It makes me feel like the Denver community is caring for those that are just in some the lowest points in their life,” Hanson said.

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