We were inspired by hearing the devastating statement of our dear friend Tony-
"The hardest part of being homeless is not the lack of shelter, it's feeling like you don't have a voice - like you don't have meaning."
Those experiencing homelessness are people who have names, stories, hopes, and dreams. hüm strives to humanize homelessness by giving a voice to the voiceless, goods to those in need, opportunities to the downtrodden, and most importantly - a spark for actual human connection.
WHAT IT DOES
Recipients make a profile and share their story in a short video. In their profile, they can specify relevant information about their needs and particular skills they have. Their profiles are then populated via geo-location to nearby people who have the desire and means to help. Connections are formed and relationships are developed further in a chat interface that hopefully culminates in a face-to-face meeting, the delivery of a particular good, or a job opportunity.
HOW WE BUILT IT
We focused on UI/UX and poured our efforts into interactive mockups that showcased video of real people experiencing homelessness to emphasize the impact hüm could have if it were a real app.
The plan is to build in React Native or Flutter for quick cross-platform prototyping with a backend hosted on AWS.
CHALLENGES WE RAN INTO
Limiting our scope to a mobile platform knowing that many but not all have access to smartphones and those who do have a hard time keeping them charged.
Ensuring security and safety for both users. Eliminating the possibility of money transfer. Establishing public locations for meetups.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS THAT WE ARE MOST PROUD OF
A fantastic product design, color scheme, logo, and concept. A plan to move forward regarding goals and resource allocation. The collaboration, work distribution, and interdisciplinary team dynamic.
WHAT WE LEARNED
We learned that meals, shelter, and physical goods while being important, are still temporary fixes.
We learned about the many reasons the homeless population would be wary of people, the prevalence of human trafficking, and the soul-crushing reality of barely being acknowledged let alone treated like another human being.
On the technical side - we learned UI/UX concepts, hardware design, programming, agile, user stories, software dev prototyping skills.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR HÜM
We are going to continue developing the plan and will look for more help on the software development side.