During this pandemic, most people are quarantining at home trying to stay safe. But what about the people that don't have a home? During this time many police forces are removing homeless camps across cities, with many having now where to go and the government sometimes does not provide or expand it's alternative housing spaces. At the same time, hotel and housing properties listed on airbnb and other media are sitting without any occupancy as travel has become extremely limited. We felt that these rooms/homes with no one using them can be put to better use to help out the community and also possibly have a hand in helping flatten the curve. Another problem in this ongoing situation is that tons of farmers are forced to throw away their products as there has been less buying.
What it does
Homely.space is a web app designed to be easily accessible by everyone and provide all the facilities needed for the user to fulfill their purpose. There are two different people that would use the application. One is someone who wants to list their property on the database for homeless people to use. Another is someone who is seeking a temporary place to stay. People who want to enlist their housing can do so by signing up and providing the home address which will then be added to our database. The person who is seeking a home can also sign up and click the "locate me" button which will get their address and find the nearest available home for them. Once a home has been found, the two people will be put in contact with each other via phone or email. Another feature that is available in the application is a Request Food option. As farmers are throwing away they produces, we though that we can save some of this waste and connect a consumer straight to a farmer. In this part, a person can sign up as a volunteer that helps get food from a farm to a purchaser, which would help reduce good products going to waste. There are other small features such as a chat bot in which one can diagnose themselves and also get the latest updated data for covid.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We initially struggles to create a layout of the whole application, but were able to figure that out with some rough drawings. Another challenge was that the team members are all from different time zones, so communication with very difficult. Another challenge we ran into was understand database and getting it to work how we wanted it to. Since this was the first time some of us used firebase and google apis, we had to read documentations to understand everything about the two.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
There are a couple of things that we are proud of. One of them is that eventually we were all able to work together and understand what everyone was doing despite the time difference. We are also proud of the fact that throughout the project we were able to learn to use new features such as apis and databases that we did not know before the hackathon started. One important accomplishment is that we were able to overcome a huge time constraint and come up with a prototype of an idea that has potential to change people's lives.
What we learned
We learned how to set-up and use Google's geolocation and distance matrix apis, create a database and extract from it and using a new framework to built the website on.
What's next for Homly.space
The next steps for Homly.space is to create additional features such as having a donation tab where, people who are seeking shelter can donate whatever they feel like to the host (as anything helps). Another feature that can be added is that instead of having a web-page we could make some sort of chat bot that people can use to find nearly housing and also add housing. In addition, we can also have some sort of rating function, where the host can rate the people who stayed at their listing so future hosts can know how the people are treating their properties.