Hybrid digital/in-person experience aims to create more awareness and empathy for those in the community facing barriers in their lives.

Windsor, ON, November 2, 2021 Rocket Innovation Studio, a Windsor-based tech provider that designs and builds customized digital solutions for Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), and United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County today announced the launch of the ‘Living in My Shoes’ simulation – a program enabling the public to get a glimpse of what life is like for those living with barriers such as a lack of access to fresh and nutritious food, technology, reliable transportation and mental health support. This dynamic simulation features an interactive website, developed by Rocket Innovation Studio, and is paired with an in-person experience facilitated by United Way.

“The team at Rocket Innovation Studio have been incredible collaborators. They provided us with a made-in-Windsor solution to reach more people in a new and innovative way. We’re so grateful for their support,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County. “One of the ways in which we can spark change is by understanding the barriers and the problems that exist in certain neighbourhoods. Not everyone has equal access in our community.”

‘Living in My Shoes,’ brought to life by Rocket Innovation Studio, helps community members learn the challenges faced by a fictional 19-year-old Windsor resident who is struggling to make ends meet earning minimum wage while taking care of two young children. While going through the day, simulation participants need to keep an eye on the clock, and the single parent’s bank account, while making the best choice for the young family. While working, the single parent is also attempting to obtain their high school diploma for better career opportunities.  In the simulation, the person’s entire day is disrupted when they need to take a sick child to the doctor using public transportation and still get groceries in enough time to get to work for the evening shift.

“We are honoured to have played a role in raising awareness about members of our community who lack access to necessary resources,” said Jasen Sams, vice president of Rocket Innovation Studio. “As a for-more-than-profit company, Rocket Innovation Studio is always looking for ways to enact positive change. We have seen that we can best help the community by leveraging the talents and skills our team members use every day, like digital storytelling, as it helps us feel more connected to the work we do for our neighbours here in the Windsor-Essex area.”

In Windsor-Essex County, thousands of children and their families face these barriers every day – and the pandemic has made things even more difficult. Residents across this community are resilient, and they are working with United Way and partners to develop a Cradle to Career strategy to ensure that children reach their full potential.

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About United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County

United Way invests in a Cradle to Career strategy that supports children and youth from the time they’re born until they find a career and reach their full potential. United Way proudly invests in three priority neighbourhoods – West Windsor, Downtown Windsor and Leamington. 

About Rocket Innovation Studio

Headquartered in downtown Windsor, Ontario, Rocket Innovation Studio builds customized IT solutions to drive some of North America’s most innovative companies by using and developing the most advanced technology on the market today. Rocket Innovation Studio is a part of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT) and its clients include other Rocket portfolio companies including Rocket Mortgage, Edison Financial and Rock Central. For more information and company news visit RocketInnovationStudio.ca