How were we inspired

“One of the most important jobs of the CoC is to get individuals and families off the streets as soon as possible” (source: Global Hack VI Challenge Brief).

Focussing on one of the most important jobs felt like a rewarding experience for us to zero in on.

What does it do

Project Orion accomplishes this in 3 ways. First, the mobile app used by the CoC employees is connected to a cloud-based database. All members of the CoC share the database, giving them real-time access to shelter availability across the St Louis region. Second, the mobile app intake process is streamlined by searching the client list of repeat clients, eliminating the need to collect already-known information and by walking through the highest level questions that are required to find the appropriate emergency housing, available now. Finally, when emergency shelter is available, the CoC employee can place a temporary hold on the bed(s) to ensure the family is off the streets for the night.

In addition to the mobile app, shelter employees have access to the web-based administrator portal, allowing them to maintain shelter capacity and census data and view client records.

What we are demonstrating for you is a strong foundation to provide not only an emergency shelter solution, but it is extendable and will provide a solution to finding temporary and permanent housing for those in need.

How did you build it

Our 6 person team had clearly defined roles going into the hackathon - 3 front end/DB devs, 1 iOS dev, 1 UX designer, and 1 project manager. By being clear of our team participation ahead of time, we were able to quickly work together.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into several challenges throughout the experience, but here are just a few highlights:

  • Lack of sleep led to simple syntax errors
  • Not diving deeper into the research early into the process
  • Choosing which features we should focus on in the time we have

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite the long hours, it has been gratifying that we can come together as a team, build a solution to a real problem, and be able to laugh together through all the tension.

What we learned

Always stay light-hearted.

What's next for Orion


Share this project: