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New app designed to help homeless students now active in Nevada


News brief

Most people would be willing to help as long as they knew their help was actually making a difference.

That’s the basis for a new app called Purposity, created to help homeless students, and it's now available in Nevada and other states in the Mountain West.

There are as many as 13,000 Clark County students who are considered homeless or housing insecure.

"Purposity" is a combination of the words “purpose" and "generosity.” App founder Blake Canterbury said he was inspired to create the app after he visited a third-world country following a disaster. He said Purposity uses technology to help students in need.

"As you scroll through, maybe a first grader walked into a classroom with holes in their shoes. You can read their story, the school has vetted it. And if you want to help, you hit one button. You check out with Apple Pay or credit card and it arrives between 24 and 48 hours," said Canterburry.

The donor will get a notification in real time when the item has been delivered.

"And then you get this dopamine hit for good and you realize that what you just did for this kid has arrived on their doorstep," Canterburry said.

Purposity is being used in school districts in more than 30 states, now trying to scale up nationwide. In the Mountain West, it's also available in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Idaho.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Copyright 2022 Boise State Public Radio News. To see more, visit Boise State Public Radio News.

Yvette Fernandez

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