App designed by Kelowna-based company could offer some safety to sex trade workers

YodelMe app will be tested in a pilot project to see if it can offer safety to sex trade workers.

The coordinator of Hope Outreach in the Okanagan is hoping a new phone app could offer vulnerable women a little more safety.

“I think it could save some lives,” Angie Lohr said.

Designed by a Kelowna based company called YodelMe, the app was created to monitor workers in resource industries that often work alone in remote areas.

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But the company’s business development manager realized that it could also work for women in the sex trade.

“Well it just occurred to me that these women are essentially working alone,” Greg ter Wolbeek said.

When a person logs on to the app, their location is monitored on a map.

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They can set a time to check in to the monitoring software, and if they don’t, they’re sent a reminder.

If a check-in doesn’t happen, someone can be notified.

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In an emergency situation, the emergency button can be pressed and the monitoring software sets off an alarm.

Lohr is starting a pilot project through Hope Outreach, with donations from YodelMe, to begin getting the app into the hands of women she encounters on the streets.

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