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Project Ropa Offline Forms App

A check-ins app for volunteers to track deliveries of clean clothing to the homeless in LA

Technology

Firebase, iOS

NPOs involved

Project Ropa

Team

Kevin Li, Jessica Lam

Background

Project Ropa is a free mobile hygiene service that brings clean clothing and hygiene kits directly to people experiencing homelessness in the Greater Los Angeles area in a safe, humane and dignified way. Project Ropa has a retrofitted van that functions as a mobile walk-in closet, carrying a full selection of clothes, shoes and accessories. They have served over 32,000 individuals in the last 5 years and distributed over 87,000 lbs of clothing.

Problem

Although Project Ropa serves hundreds of people per month, they didn’t have a simple but efficient way to keep track of the individuals they served in the homeless community.

  • Returning visitors: Without a digitized mechanism, it is difficult to keep track of who is new and who is a returning visitor. Project Ropa would not have to ask survey questions to its returning visitors.
  • Lack of internet access: Existing solutions like Google Forms only work when connected online, but many of Project Ropa's distribution locations do not have internet access.
  • Solution
    Offline Forms

    In order to help solve this problem, we created an offline forms mobile application, so volunteers would be able to better track their deliveries of hygiene kits and clean clothing to the homeless population in LA, regardless of internet connection.

    Efficient Check-In

    Within this platform, we also created a check-in feature; once a user was registered and recorded in the database, each time they used Project Ropa, volunteers would just have to enter their name to check-in, as their data was stored in our database.

    With our efficient check-in process, returning visitors can be recorded in under 5 seconds!
    With our efficient check-in process, returning visitors can be recorded in under 5 seconds!
    Better Understanding of LA’s Homeless Community

    Questions asked during the original registration of a person experiencing homelessness included: race, ethnicity, age, gender, current living situation, and whether they were seeking housing or employment. This data can be used to:

  • Help Project Ropa apply for funding grants to better serve their community and expand their service
  • Better understand socioeconomic and demographic factors that are correlated/cause homelessness in LA.
  • Impact

    Since its release, our app has been used to record 150 people a week, enabling Project Ropa to collect data in larger volumes, more efficiently, and more robustly without post-processing.

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    Last updated March 24th, 2021

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