Homelessness is a major issue that has swept the United States and they are often underserved by services. Disabled people, people who use drugs, and minors/vulnerable populations often find themselves without a safe home.
Access to medical services is also crucial, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we wanted to design a service that would allow people to see where free medical services were offered, and other helpful resources.
Many people might find the idea of building an app for the homeless contradictory, but a large percentage the homeless population own cell phones that serve as a lifeline and allow them to search for resources. Mobile phone ownership by homeless individuals ranged from 44%-62% in 2016. There are existing apps designed for a non-homeless person to aid homeless people. However, Homemore is an app designed FOR the homeless individual to help themselves.
What it does
Connects homeless individuals to local resources, providing options to access key services to empower them to better their situations. Individuals can stay up to date with local events and emergencies through the app, ensuring their safety and ability to stay connected with ongoing events. They can also share their experiences and comments within their app to strengthen community bonds.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
Access to primary research; having to rely on secondary research of homeless experiences and ensure that personal biases didn't sway decisions. Motivation and design of features had to be intentional.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Collaborating remotely and working in such a short time span. We also believe that this is an important issue for an underserved population and we are passionate about making a meaningful solution.
What we learned
For most of the team, design is relatively new so everything was a learning experience. The design process included research, empathy, and designing using Figma. We brainstormed project ideas using the design stages: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, but didn’t have time to Test the idea. We wrote our thoughts for each step and collaborated via Google Docs.
What's next for Homemore
More user research to confirm components and features of Homemore. Usability tests to ensure that the product is intuitive and usable by the target audience of the homeless. Then implementation and development to create a usable product to help individuals improve their situations.