Developed in collaboration with the Arizona State University’s Cloud Innovation Center, the bilingual chatbot app provides detailed information on the National Eviction Moratorium, along with local, ZIP Code-based rental and legal assistance, and homeless resources.
Tempe, Arizona, [February 3, 2021] – Crisis Response Network’s statewide 2-1-1 Arizona Information and Referral Service program announces a new Eviction Prevention App which offers detailed guidance and information for renters at risk of eviction.
Developed in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Smart City Cloud Innovation Center (ASU CIC), powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), the bilingual (English and Spanish) chatbot app guides the user through a series of questions in approximately two minutes and provides a detailed report based on the user’s responses. The report includes detailed, step-by-step guidance to ensure individuals and families are covered by the current National Eviction Moratorium and provides rental-assistance and homelessness information and resources along with connections to legal-assistance agencies.
You can access the chatbot here:
The ASU CIC is designed as part of a long-term collaboration between ASU and AWS to improve smart city digital experiences, facilitate the sharing of public sector technology solutions, and spur economic and workforce development.
As 35% of calls to 2-1-1 Arizona are regarding housing and shelter needs, CRN leadership approached the ASU CIC about creating a method to quickly and easily provide eviction prevention information and guidance. The ASU CIC responded to the challenge and created the bilingual chatbot in approximately 30 days with support from AWS, which provided technical expertise and secure cloud services.
“Crisis Response Network and 2-1-1 Arizona’s work is extremely important, not only because of the number of people requiring assistance, but the need for more simple and easy ways to access eviction-related information. In many cases, tenants are at such high levels of stress and despair that anything too complicated causes them to simply give up,” said Judge Leonore Driggs, of Arcadia and Downtown Phoenix Justice Courts. “The need for assistance is tremendous right now. The halt in evictions is only temporary; affordable housing was an issue prior to the pandemic and it could deteriorate further unless action is taken. I want to commend everyone working to address these issues and help our neighbors in Arizona.”
2-1-1 Arizona and the ASU CIC hope to learn more about how the community responds to the chatbot with an eye to developing and deploying similar technology in other human services environments.
The app’s internet protocol (IP) is open source and available to other communities, organizations, and 2-1-1 programs to support their residents working through the same issues.
“We are very grateful for the generous assistance of the ASU CIC in the design of this new app to rapidly provide eviction prevention guidance and information to Arizona residents in this time of great need,” said Justin Chase, President/CEO of Crisis Response Network, which oversees 2-1-1 Arizona.
Along with the new Eviction Prevention app, 2-1-1 Arizona’s information and referral services are available 24/7/365 in English, Spanish, and other languages by dialing 2-1-1 anywhere in the state. Live operators will help individuals and families find resources that are available to them locally, throughout Arizona, and provide connections to critical services that can improve – and save – lives, including:
- Supplemental food and nutrition programs
- Shelter and housing options
- Utilities assistance
- Emergency information and disaster relief
- Employment and education opportunities
- Services for veterans
- Health care, vaccination and health epidemic information
- Addiction prevention and rehabilitation programs
- Re-entry help for ex-offenders
- Support groups for individuals with mental illnesses or special needs
- A safe, confidential path out of physical and/or emotional domestic violence
In addition to the phone line, 2-1-1 Arizona’s information and referral services also can be accessed through its website, www.211arizona.org and mobile app.