Helping a Local Charity to Help the Homeless
Mobile Loaves & Fishes is a local charity here in Austin, Texas, that is working to help the city’s homeless population by developing a series of schemes that bring sustainable, long term changes to their lives in ways that simple hand outs never can.
From the humble beginnings of having one minivan delivering meals to whichever men and women they happened to find on the streets, the charity has grown to now include several ongoing projects that form one whole, bigger picture, with the emphasis on building both a community and a future for Austin’s homeless.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes Projects
The list of current projects includes the following:
Community First! – a 27-acre master-planned community that will provide affordable, sustainable housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas.
Genesis Gardens – a sustainable agriculture project that provides jobs for the homeless and fresh fruit, vegetables, and dairy for the residents of the Community First! project.
ROADS Micro-Enterprises – Relationships and Opportunities Allowing for Dignity and Security (ROADS) provides a variety of opportunities for the disabled, chronically homeless to use their God-given talents to earn a dignified income.
Despite the scale of these projects, the main day-to-day duty of Mobile Loaves & Fishes is still the Truck Ministry, and what began in 1998 as one minivan in Austin has now grown into a fleet of vehicles that set out every day to deliver food and more to homeless people in five cities nationwide.
The Truck Ministry
From sandwiches and fresh fruit to boiled eggs and salads, the trucks are also equipped with hot and cold drinks, hygiene items, clothes and shoes, books, and of course friendly faces.
Teams of volunteers come together, with specific roles assigned to each. Sandwich makers, donated clothing collectors, delivery staff and more are all needed for each vehicle to accomplish their mission of delivering to places where the homeless congregate twice a day, at lunch and dinner times.
As the scale of this operation has grown (Mobile Loaves & Fishes have so far delivered over 4 million meals, with the support of more than 18,000 volunteers) the need for greater organization arose, with teams needing to communicate as a whole group and set their itineraries in conjunction with one another.
Developing an App to Help the Truck Ministry
To help the Truck Ministry to keep everything running smoothly and avoid mistakes in their itinerary creation, Halfslide Design developed a phone app called Tracker that the whole team of volunteers citywide can use to plan their itineraries, ensuring that every delivery point is covered.
The app uses Google Maps to show the locations of deliveries, and allows the user to choose which of these they will attend. Every other user will then see which locations have been picked, and know to choose different ones, avoiding the problem of having more than one team arriving at the same place.
As a member of the local Austin community, Halfslide Design were quick to support the great work Mobile Loaves & Fishes do by developing this app pro bono, and will continue to provide updates whenever they are needed, free of charge forever.
In recognition of this, Mobile Loaves & Fishes recently added us as an official partner, allowing us to join a group of esteemed local, national, and international names that all help out with the charity in one way or another.
As a business, Halfslide Design is proud to have our work acknowledged in this way, but as a local Austin business, we feel even more honored that we have been able to contribute to the work Mobile Loaves & Fishes do in our own way.0