Place: App for low income families


  • Project Type: School Project
  • Date: March, 2016

Place is an iOS app built by a non-profit organization aiming at helping low income individuals and families by providing different service programs, in-depth advice on technical issues; and housing assistance resources to improve their life quality to prevent homelessness. Place will advertise the campaign information at public transportations, supermarkets and thrift stores.


The impact of homelessness on children and their families is devastating. Without a place to call home, children are challenged by unpredictability, insecurity, and chaos. Families experiencing homelessness are vulnerable; most have experienced extreme poverty, residential instability, and violence, and many parents have limited education and work histories. Low income families are group of people potentially facing homelessness.


Create an application that low income families can seek help from charitable organization to prevent homelessness.

What is Homelessness?

Homelessness is the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure and adequate housing, or lack “fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence.” Homeless people may transition from sleeping rough in cars or parks to sleeping in a shelter, then moving to housing, then staying with a friend and back to shelters.

Related Statistics

The number of families who are homeless has been increasing throughout the U.S. in recent years, including an increase by 38% from 2007-2010. More than 1.6 million (1 in 45) children under the age of 18 were homeless in the U.S. in 2010. According to data by the U.S. Department of Education, for the first time in history, during the 2010-2011 school year, public schools identified more than 1 million homeless students. This is the highest number on record.

Target Market

  • 25 years old or older
  • has kids
  • little education
  • low income (annual household income less than $30,000)


Sarah Fernandez

  • 38 years old
  • Single mom
  • Clean lady
  • Lives in Daly City, CA

“Rent is getting more and more expensive in the Bay Area. I am afraid that my kids and I won’t afford the rent that we will be homeless someday. Anyone could tell me what to do?”

Campaign Ads

Since people with low income usually take public transportations to commute, the campaign ads will be placed at bus stops, and metro stations, that the target audience would be able to read the ads while waiting for buses or trains.


Information Architecture

The main functions of this app are enrolling programs provided by the organization, checking events/news, and requesting for help specifically. For sign up, users have to provide some basic personal information first. Then after successfully logged in, the app provides users programs and events that could improve their life financially. The "Get Help" section allows users send help requests to the organization for different detailed reasons. Users can also get related news to increase their awareness of near-homelessness.


Final Design

Next Step

I will look into what government and charities are doing right now to help low-income families from homelessness. More research on government websites, related policies and news are still needed to figure out what programs or solutions could possibly work.

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