Inspiration

There are more than 4,140 homeless people in Dallas alone, but merely presenting data to show the state of homelessness is not enough. Two weeks ago, an anonymous woman spotted the hotel bill for 70 homeless people in Chicago in the freezing -23° cold, and we wanted to do something similar. Through research, we found out the two leading reasons why the homeless do not want to go to shelters are:

  1. Drugs and illegal activities happening in these shelters
  2. Rules that restrict the homeless. For example, they are told what time to eat, sleep, and even shower!

What it does

Homeful bridges the gap between private homeowners and charities for providing temporary homes to the homeless. The goal is for the homeless to be integrated within homes and feel like they are part of society again.

Private homeowners can put up their rooms for rent for a duration of time, similar to how Airbnb works. However, the renters are charity organizations who are in charge of matching the homeless with these private spaces, as well as paying a minimal fee to cover the cost of living. The charity organizations are still in charge of helping the homeless seek jobs to fully reintegrate into society.

How we built it

We built the frontend with React.js with routing and components. The backend was built with Spring framework, with a MySQL database. Our whole web app is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

Challenges we ran into

Connecting the frontend and the backend! While each part was challenging in its own right, we spent several hours just connecting what we had for the frontend and the backend.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Meeting for the first time and making something awesome! We're excited about the fact that we can help the homeless people and make good use of our programming skills for a social cause we believe in. Also, using the latest stack for development felt good!

What we learned

Integrating React with Google Maps API and backend services

What's next for Homeful

Deploying the app live and adding more security features. Also, convincing charities and people to start using our app to make a better world!

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