Inspiration

Providing social help for those most in need.

What it does

Assuming a city can install hardened, Alexa enabled devices on the street (such as lamp-posts, parking meters, signs, etc) we want to enable the homeless or displaced populations to identify the closest services to their current location.

How we built it

  • Manually created a dataset of homeless shelters and services in the Las Vegas, NV area.
  • Massaged the dataset to include google position ids
  • Wrote some NodeJS code to determine a location based on address
  • Searched for the closest position based on the origin location
  • Responded to queries from Alexa with the closest location based on the Alexa original location

Challenges we ran into

We are all newbies at Alexa, Google API, and the other services we used. Additionally, there is not a clean dataset for homeless shelters available across the US; if there was, we could easily expand this to work 'anywhere'.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We got some of this to actually work!

What we learned

  • How to create and edit Alexa Skills.
  • Google Maps and distance matrix API
  • NodeJS

What's next for HomelessHelper2000

  • Ability to search for services by a variety of other terms (i.e. gender, veteran status, age, family status)
  • Import a complete dataset from a 3rd party
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