This was my first Angular project. I had done Knockout, Durandal, and classic server-rendered web apps before, but this was my first stab with Angular. I liked it, and now use Angular for most of my projects.
I used TypeScript and found the classes to work great with Angular's controllers.
C# and MS SQL on the backend, hosted on Azure.
On the site, youth can subscribe to get emails or text messages when a bed becomes available. For this, we use SendGrid and Twilio.
We're using a custom Bootstrap theme for the UI. This enabled us to easily make the site responsive, which was a major goal since most homeless youth have phones but not desktops.
The project was commissioned by Youth Service Network, a group of youth shelters in Minnesota, with grant money supplied by Microsoft and Target. Microsoft provided free Azure credits to host the site.
SendGrid and Twilio both got involved in the project and offered a large amount of free credits. Kudos to them for that.
I was homeless at one point in my life, so this kind of hit close to home (no pun intended). Thank you for making this as great as you did.
Agreeing with the others on the Minnesota label being needed on the site, but moreso - what do you think would be required to take this to other major cities? Is the limiting factor just data or is there more to it?
Aside: if this is still in active development, I'd be happy to offer some time on design & UX
Thanks for the offer for time on design and UX. It's ultimately up to the shelter network to continue with the next version of this app. I've got your email from your profile; I'll keep in touch.
Do you need a "we don't track you" statement, so the youth feel safe? (Or is it better not to bring it up?)
Somebody else mentioned that you have a geographic service area. It might be helpful to mention that, or to somehow geofence requests, for the sake of people in need from other geographies.
I wonder if "outreach worker" should say "somebody to talk to." Poor folks have a lot of bureaucracy to deal with, and it might be nice to offer the value proposition rather than the job title. Plus, it's a way to connect with folks who might be suicidal.
"Parenting" -- maybe "Taking care of kids".
Promotion: Stickers and signs. Bathrooms, in the stalls, are especially effective places to put them up. Youth with trouble don't want to be seen copying stuff off signs on bulletin boards (social stigma).
Is this available to be replicated in other geographies? If you want to try it in MA, I can work with you.
As far as replicating this in other states, I'd personally love that! I will speak with the organizers. Currently, it's a group of shelters in MN that got together to do this. They may be interested in branching out.
Thanks again for the feedback!
It is a really nice initiative ! I will spread the word around.
If you reject the geolocation prompt, the site still works fine; we just don't order the results by nearest location.
It's possible that a shelter will only accommodate you if your last known address was west of X street within Y county limits (cities can span counties) and an odd numbered house.
I second rmxt's comment about clearly branding this for Minneapolis.
I don't see it on any other pages. Either way, nice work!
1. When I click shelter it shows a very small nbr of beds available when compared to the nbr of beds shown when I click the Search icon on the homepage.
Also agree with cpeterso's comment on this.
2. It was when I clicked the Search icon and scrolled to the bottom that I saw the wind chill advisory and only then saw it on the main page under Urgent news. Perhaps putting this link (Alerts/Urgent news) at the top of the page will improve its visibility. Not sure how it's rendered on a mobile browser.
All the very best.
I work in this industry (SaaS provider for non-profits) and just sent the project out to the whole company.
I was also involved with this... more on the product side working with the shelters.
We actually implemented this at first: when searching for beds, you could search for beds reserved for transgender and gay kids. Likewise, shelters could mark beds as beds alloted for gay youth or transgender youth.
But after talking to the shelters in Minnesota, they told us that they don't have beds specifically for transgenders or gays; if a female identity transgender person is most comfortable with female beds, they give that person a female bed. The shelters told us that creating beds specifically for transgender and gay people would further isolate them.
That said, we do show which services are GLBTQ-friendly. For example, see http://ysnmn.org/#/services/2