Project Researcher: Vending Machines for the Homeless

Posted 27-12-2018
Category Local In-Office
Interns Needed 1
Anticipated Timeline 1 - 2 months
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Vending Machines for the Homeless Pilot
Intern Job Description



This project aims to explore the effectiveness of a low cost intervention to help homeless people access basic necessities in a more efficient manner.  We want to pilot the use of vending machines as a more convenient way of addressing access to basic necessities (warm socks, hygiene products, etc) for homeless people in Edmonton’s core.


Read the report to learn more…


This project is a collaboration between Boyle Street Community Services, Edmonton Public Library, the Edmonton Community Foundation and ALIF Partners.


Work with EPL and Boyle to…

  1. Identify criteria for choosing the right type of vending machine.

  2. Develop stocklist for machine. What are the critical items for dispensing?

  3. Select what  types of payment methods are a must? Investigate viability of integrating biometrics payment option.

  4. Create financial performance for machine. Advise on how can we make it sustainable.

  5. Research and identify a vending machine providers. Investigate opportunities to partner. Create a spreadsheet documenting options. Make a recommendation on which vendor to work with.

  6. Create & document maintenance process for stocking machine and dealing with routine problems.

  7. Assist with promotion and media by drafting press release and assisting with media inquiries.

  8. Help identify and coordinate gift items for the vending machine; high-end socks, gift cards, etc.  


The internship will commence when the suitable candidate is found and may last 1-2 months. There may be an opportunity for continued involvement post completion.


Ideal for someone with course work in:

  • Business Administration
  • Community Social Work
  • Working With Homeless Populations: Practice Fundamentals
  • Community Economic Development

Some specialized skills required:

  • Research & Reporting
  • Attention to Detail

What we will accomplish at the end of the Internship:

  • Media Strategy
  • Research Report
  • Business Plan incl. Financials