Inspiration “The home is the center of life, and evictions erase the home. Without stable shelter, everything else falls apart.” - Desmond. We considered this to be a very important and urgent situation especially during this Covid-19 Pandemic, so we wanted to make this application to support low income or displaced families on finding and securing housing or other vital resources.
## What it does
This project was created for the Technica 2020 Hackathon!! The project can be accessed here. The objective of the project is to make a tool for collaboration between pro bono lawyers, student lawyers as well as tenants/houseless who have been facing housing inequality. We provide features to enable tenants to chat or video call with a specific lawyer belonging to a specific category. Tenants also have a discussion forum where they can discuss common topics related to housing inequality and potential solutions.
## How I built it
We developed a web application that would allow the displaced or unlawfully evicted people by either connecting them to the lawyers, to see if they have been unlawfully evicted during this time and what are the steps that they can take to solve it. We have a search function that given name or location, parses through the database and displays the lawyers that match the criteria so that the user can use the links available to find their website and contact details. It has a chatting facility where once the user logins in he/she can chat with other available users so that fellow tenants can also talk about similar issues they might have faced and guide them through how they solved it.
## Challenges I ran into
We researched a lot and wanted to implement the chatbot for our website but we realized it was very complicated so we modified our plans and made the chatting site for the three types of users instead. We faced some problems with github because multiple people were working on the same file.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We are very proud of how the website turned out and the search algorithm that we implemented to search for relevant information about the lawyers and locations. We are proud of the chatting function that we have implemented.
What I learned
We learned a lot about frontend and backend development and we learnt about search algorithm.
## What's next for LAW.GINGS Since this project was developed as part of a Hackathon, the current application is just the version 1 of our idea. We plan to extend the project by creating a backend using MongoDb=B to store chats of users with each other. We also plan to integrate a video conferencing tool that will enable the users to hold meetings from within the flag. On the general discussion platform that we have, we will add more features such as ability to like/comment on a post. The post can also take form of a donation for a displaced family wherein the other members pitch in some funds to help them out of the situation. We will also create a UI interface for the Lawyer where they can provide their availability, fees or pro bono, as well as their speciality. These are all the features our application will be extended into including general UI enhancements.