We were thinking about a solution to how the homeless can find what they need. Instead of going the normal approach, we started wondering if there was a way for the homeless to find their own shelters and food instead of standing out in the cold or rain begging. Thus, Food N Shelter was created.
What it does
This website/program can be loaded onto digital screens positioned at bus stops and stations so that homeless people can use them. The website detects or asks for location data, and then pulls up a map of nearby soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and community housing. Clicking on one of these points displays the name of the center, making it easier to recognize. The homeless can now just walk to their nearest bus stop to figure out where to go next!
These digital screens are not just for the homeless; if people feel the need to contribute, we have added a secure Paypal donation link which, after each month, will manually be donated to charities. Also, on the main website, we have added a form for volunteer opportunities to help as well.
How we built it
To run the program, install the packages specified in the requirements.txt, then run
Challenges we ran into
We ran into the challenge of color-coding the markers, because the libraries used in the back-end conflicted with those in the front-end. We solved this by changing and upgrading a few libraries.
We also ran into location detection problems, because some locations were repeated and some did not show. We solved this problem eventually...
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud of overcoming all the challenges, which in total amounted to over five hours of work.
What we learned
We learned that creating a program of this caliber can be difficult and intimidating; you have to keep pushing to make it work.
What's next for Food N Shelter
We plan to add bus routes and approximate timings so that travel will be more efficient.