I was inspired by popular sites like couchsurfing.com that let people traveling Europe stay with hosts. In this case, rather than a service with monetary compensation, the service is provided for those who have been affected by natural disasters. The guests may wish to tip as much as they want and are able to.
California was recently struck by several wildfires that left many without their homes. These people had to find family or friends to stay with or test their luck with last minute hotel rooms. I wanted to make their lives easier by having a one-stop website that finds them a place to stay while they figure out their next steps.
What it does
This website connects those who have been affected by natural disasters to hosts that volunteer to take them in. The main page describes the roles of hosts and guests. The responsibilities of both parties are listed on the next page. There is a page for guests to input their needs and a page for hosts to match their services to the accommodations required by a guest.
The website is very simple in design to allow people who are in urgent need of safety and shelter to get straight to finding shelter. The object of this website is not to do business, to attract or distract. Its sole purpose is to provide accommodations for those who need to find safety and shelter quickly.
How we built it
I used WIX to create and design a website. Then I used WIX code to create a database that connects to the form on the website. I then called upon entries in the database and displayed them in the page meant for hosts to find guests.
Challenges we ran into
I was not sure how to match the guests and hosts and decided that private emails would be the best option. I left the finalization process to the hosts and their chosen guests to allow them to keep their details private.
Additionally, I struggled to connect the database entries to the fid a guest page. I wanted to access all connected entries (entries in one row for one quest request) and iterate through sets of entries. I took a while to access these entries in groups and display them on separate elements of the website. Eventually, I began to understand the WIX code feature and was able to attain this feature.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I was able to create a database that stores the guest requests and allows hosts to easily access each database entry in a pleasing format.
What we learned
I learned how to create a database and access connected entries on another page of the website. I also learned how to use the WIX platform for creating websites and integrating written code and APIs into it.
What's next for Home Away From Home
I would like to turn this website into a nonprofit startup. I believe that in places with high risk of fires, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, such a service would be very useful.
I would like to enhance the email feature for the website to include a pop-up that allows hosts to email potential guests straight from the website. Additionally, I want to incorporate a notifications system that sends guests texts when hosts view their profiles and notifies hosts when new guest profiles are added to the website. Currently, there is an email subscription service available for hosts only.
I would also like to allow guests to be able to delete their own profiles once their accommodation needs have been met.