On an average night in 2016, more than 3,600 homeless people could be found on our streets and in our shelters. Chronic homelessness requires a strategic response and most often, the work of multiple agencies and the community to help the most vulnerable in our city reach their goals of safe shelter and a way back into society. Mayor Sylvester Turner has invited the community to help implement an anti-panhandling awareness campaign in an effort to redirect “street donations” to fund more shelter beds, new public health and safety regulations and ultimately more stability in their lives.

What it does

The app encourages the community to react in a meaningful way, rather than enabling those experiencing homelessness to stay on the streets.

How we built it

The 'Team Hess' consisted of members with different areas of expertise:

  • Front-end development was done on Ionic framework
  • Middle-tier API layer was built on Azure Functions
  • Backend database on Azure SQL
  • Administrative reporting on TIBCO Spotfire

Challenges we ran into

Ionic was a new platform on which the team had limited prior experience. Setting up the project turned out to be challenging.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite all the challenges, we have navigated through and have a working app (minimal viable product) built for iOS and Android.

What we learned

  • Learn a platform before using it in a time-sensitive project.

What's next for Meaningful CHANGE, not SPARE CHANGE

  • Add Geo-fencing
  • Data Analytics, Data Mining, Machine Learning
  • Donation processing
  • Submit the App to Google Play & iOS AppStore

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