We started this project wanting to build something that not only would be viable to provide relief in times of disaster, but also could provide aid to those who needed it in other times. During disasters, often people want to help but simply don't know how they can.
How Shelter Helps
Shelter is an app that connects people who need aid ("guests") with people who want to help ("hosts"). After registering with their names and phone numbers, guests can search the registered host accounts in their area. Host accounts show the number of available beds, baths, and food.
When a guest finds a host they would like to stay with, a guest can request that host. Hosts can view the guests that have requested with them and choose which guest(s) to accept.
How Shelter Works
We built Shelter with ReactNative, which means that Shelter can run on both Android and Apple phones. For a better user interface and a more intuitive user experience, we used the Native Base library to implement lists and buttons. The host and guest accounts are stored in a PostgreSQL database hosted on a Node.js server. Shelter uses GraphQL to access the server, which has an Express.js framework.
What's Next For Shelter
In the future we would like to add Google Maps functionality, which would include an optimized route that pulls disaster data from social media. In addition, we hope to add the ability to group hosts by verified organizations, such as churches or volunteer groups, in order to further ensure the safety of the guests.