Title

Safe Place for Youth Database Web Application

Date of Completion

5-5-2017

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Discipline

Computer Science (CMSI)

First Advisor

B.J. Johnson, PhD

Second Advisor

John David N. Dionisio, PhD

Third Advisor

Ray Toal, PhD

Abstract

In the nonprofit sector, there are many informational tasks crucial for assisting clients in dire need of care: storing protected health information, storing important personal documents, recording client enrollment and participation, generating reports about demographics and trends. However, informational practices can negatively impact services when processes such as manually collecting and aggregating data via hard-copy forms and spreadsheets prevent staff from developing important relationships with clients that would help their situations. Budget constraints prevent many nonprofits from acquiring systems to replace these arduous data collection and aggregation tasks. To address these issues, a team of LMU Undergraduate Computer Science developers has been working closely with staff at Safe Place for Youth, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Venice, CA, that serves youth experiencing homeless, to investigate the potential positive impact of students gratuitously developing software for organizations as part of their course projects. This project involved building a database-driven web application through participatory design with Safe Place for Youth staff and features a full stack implementation, configurations for deployment on cloud hosting services, and basic security, providing functionality for the informational tasks involved with social services.