Our team wanted to support the community of people experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 by giving them an online space to request resources (PPE, food, shelter, clothing) they may not be able to access or access safely through traditional methods. The public would be given an opportunity to list resources they have that they could offer those in need, on a smaller scale. With 94% of the homeless population having access to cell phones (half of them being smart phones), Gratis can be an accessible platform.

What it does

Gratis collects information from "givers" and "receivers" to match them based on resource requests (food, clothing, etc) and location.

How we built it

Using Webflow as a foundation, we built out our site using HTML/CSS and integrated platforms such as Formplus, Muut, Google Cloud BigQuery, GoogleMaps, Google Cloud datasets, and Google Data Studio.

Challenges we ran into

It was a challenge linking form submissions to a database, and then using location data of form responders to plot their location on GoogleMaps.

As an alternative, we were able to build out a series of forms to collect relevant data from Gratis users, tying them together to develop a seamless web experience. On our homepage, we implemented a map that zooms in on the site visiter's location, and "plots" locations around them (using hard-coded coordinates instead of coordinates from the form).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We built a great-looking website with less than 24 hours of work, that demonstrates most of the features we wanted for Gratis.

What we learned

The biggest lesson we learned was that web design can be very challenging, even when platforms like Webflow make it easier. Also, working with databases is a beast.

What's next for Gratis

Our next step is designing and implementing a matching algorithm between givers and receivers, and the logic to suggest convenient locations for givers and receivers to do item drop offs/pick ups.

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