We first took aim at building a solution for the homeless population at the 2016 AT&T Hackathon in March of this year. In just 24 hours we built the physical appearance of a prototype that mimicked taking in and rendering data. We shelf the app as we all became busy with work until the HACC started. Deciding to take our 24hr prototype and use it for inspiration, we decided to build a full working mobile app and web application that took in and rendered data.
What it does
We first have our native mobile application that will render the our Homeless Data Collection App. This app will allow homeless care workers takedown vital homeless information for both their annual "Point-in-Time" count and "VI-SPDAT" assessments. Currently both form survey's are done with paper and pen and then transferred to something like excel.
Secondly we have our Population Dashboard web application that will render each homeless person the state has collected data on.
- The first view will allow users to see each individual homeless person - their demographic information, VI-SPDAT summary and all answer values take from their Point-in-Time count.
- The second view will allow users to visually see the total homeless population as a whole by island. We decided to break each area by district and render each City and Council rep for their respective districts. The values that are then being rendered into each district are either Total Homeless Population or Districts at Risk Score.
How we built it
It first starts off with all the help from 4 major stakeholders of which all currently work in some capacity to help Hawaii's homeless problem. All allowed us time to interview them and really figure out what their pain-points are. We came to the conclusion that building a solution that would 1. store all homeless data in a centralized database owned by the state, 2. allow workers to assess and survey homeless in the field, and 3. render that information in a practical and meaningful way. We are building to solve all 3 needs.
The rest just took some laughs, coffee and LOTS of programming!
Challenges we ran into
Our team has never worked with React-Native (building for mobile apps) and GraphQL. Both technologies make up almost 70% of our application so the learning curve + actual development time was very difficult and very fun at the same time.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Truly meeting individual stakeholders that are working incredibly hard to solve our homeless issue. We only hope that we can build a good enough prototype to give them hope of what's possible with technology solutions.
What we learned
React-Native, Apollo, GraphQL
What's next for Homeless Data Collector App