After doing some research, we wanted an iOS and Web application which could talk to each other and could enable centers around the world like Saint Patrick's Center to quickly collect data on those seeking shelter at their locations using a mobile device. They can quickly scan a driver's license which can tell wether the user is a frequent customer, and also make recommendations of what the customer can be approved for programs and benefits.

The idea of an iOS application allows those volunteering their time to quickly download an app to begin capturing information about those seeking shelter. As the client(s) come in, the iOS then can cross reference with the data that has been captured from the web application from the Consortium of Care members. This allows the volunteers to quickly provide recommendation(s) to fill out request to the programs and benefit programs that CoC members provide. Meaning if the clients have missed possible other programs that are provided or seeing now they now meet those CoC members criteria to be accepted.

The CoC members can capture these requests from the shelters about their particular CoC benefits and programs. The CoC members can even capture this enrollment information before clients end up in shelters. As the CoC fill this client information, the CoC member can actually see the other benefit and programs that the client has tried enrolling in. The CoC member can even see the status of the application so they can determine if it would be beneficial to approving the application to their program or benefit.

The iOS can even update provide that status to the clients to allow them to know if they have been accepted or denied by CoC members program or benefits.

What it does

The iOS application can allow the centers to quickly log and store data about the people staying there. The app can also allow the shelters to provide recommendations for CoC members' program and benefits.

The web app helps provide application status, and calculate weight of probability of becoming homeless.

How we built it


  • Xcode 7.3.1
  • Swift 2.2.


  • Atom
  • Node
  • React
  • MongoDB


  • XD

Challenges we ran into

We tried to be way too fancy and tried to develop a framework for other iOS developers to use which can completely take care of logging into an iOS application, without them having to write a single line of code. So we tried to tackle the complete lack of iOS "frameworks (reusable code)" available in Github (open sourced) while trying to develop the framework and work on an application that utilizes the framework in order to build an app at the same time. This made things much more difficult. Also, Facebook's iOS SDK is broken.

One of the hardest challenges we had to think of is how we would calculate weight in determining a probability of becoming homeless. This would allow CoC members to then understand their impact of approving or denying a client to their benefit or program. This weight factors into our analytics to say if the client has not shown up in our iOS app, that they are at high risk. If a client has shown up to a shelter, the iOS app would mark this information so that a better understanding of the benefits and programs a client has applied for.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Login is completely authenticated using Facebook.
  • Scanning of state issued or federal IDs to pull their information into the iOS app
  • Beginning of determining weight for; ⋅⋅* Determining at risk clients that may become homeless (prevention) ⋅⋅* Understanding the impact of CoC members help in the stage of diversion

What we learned

We've attended multiple Hackathons before. We learned that this topic was much more intriguing. Also much more worthwhile to deal with because it was challenging. It required research. It required understanding from a basic level of human beings wanting to help others regardless of social status and race. And it was a fun problem to try and tackle using technology. We hope everyone can see we loved making this software very much.

What's next for Harbor iOS

The next iteration, we'd like to open up the users to everyone in the world to quickly search for centers near them, and donate to a center like Saint Patrick's Center. In an iOS application, they can sign up for a month subscription where they can donate a dollar amount like $5 using Apple Pay, iCloud Payments, or Credit Card from the volunteers to the CoC members that may help their clients. This can enable money raising for the centers, and also provide an alternative to aggressive pan-handling, a problem known to Saint Louis. At the end of a payment, we'd post to Facebook (similar to the ALS bucket challenge) and a link to download the app in the app store would be posted.

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