During this pandemic, practically all of us are stuck at home in quarantine. This poses many difficulties for the elderly and other at-risk individuals who cannot go out to purchase necessities like groceries, toiletries, and more. We wanted to design a social media app that groups people by proximity to each other. Although other social media apps do this, it's extremely fragmented. Not everybody uses the same Facebook groups, let alone the fact that many elderly are not on traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and more.

What it does

Through MyStreet, individuals in need will be able to post to a Community Board, where other neighbors not at risk would be able to reach out and help. Individuals will also be able to join Communities of various sizes, so if others within an individual's immediate vicinity were unable to help, somebody would.

We built both a Web App and a Mobile App with a functional login and posting system so that anybody with Internet access would be able to take advantage of MyStreet.

On our Web Application, we have both Sign In and Sign Up functionality using both sign in with Google and sign in with email/password. Users are also able to post on the community board and the app displays the community board in real-time. Lastly, the Web Application also has direct messaging between users.

On the Mobile Application, there is currently Sign In and Sign Up functionality with email/password. Users are able to post on the community board through communicating with Firestore, but the Community Board display is still not real-time. Messaging is also not live on the mobile application, as we were unable to get it implemented in time.

How we built it

We used React.js and React-Native to build the website and mobile apps, respectively. In terms of our backend, we utilized Firebase and Firestore to handle both authentication and posting to the community board.

Challenges we ran into

On both the Web and Mobile App side, communicating with Firebase and Firestore proved to be quite challenging, as we got errors regarding functions that we did not directly call but were in other documentation through what we were calling, so finding workarounds for that proved to be difficult.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Building an organized file structure to hold all the information we needed was a priority of ours early on, and we were all really satisfied with what we came up with.

We constantly ran errors when it came to communicating and read/writing to Firestore, so overcoming those challenges and being able to actually get a file system that worked was a huge milestone.

What we learned

In the past, we've used Android Studios for app development, so using React-Native was a huge learning experience. Additionally, creating a system that works both on mobile and on web seamlessly was a new challenge in and of itself, we've never created an environment as cohesive as this one before.

What's next for MyStreet

I think that we are really proud of our idea and the progress that we were able to make over CalHacks. We are definitely going to use all of our newfound free time during this quarantine to keep working on it to eventually polish it up, and hopefully, release it for public use. Especially given the current context of the quarantine lasting until 2022, this app has plenty of potential use.

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