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Australian Bushfires - Housing the Homeless

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I've been working with my co-workers Jon (@jpoh), Gil (@gilfer), Dimitry, Becky, Danielle and Andrew on a very exciting project for the past two days, and the first iteration has just been released!

Like so many people around the world, we have been touched by the devastating effects of the 2009 bushfires that have swept through Victoria and New South Wales and wanted to use the skills we have to provide an online resource for connecting those in need with those who are able to help.

Please be upstanding for Bushfire Housing, an online tool to facilitate the pairing of those that are homeless due to the Australian bushfires and those that have room in their house, a vacant rental, newly purchased investment property or holiday home.

We Need Your Help

This site isn't going to work if no-one knows about it, so please tell everyone you know. The Bushfire Housing, Spread The Word page includes a short message suitable for Twitter, Identi.ca and SMSing, badges for your blog, company web sites and email signatures, and some text that you can email to your family, friends and colleagues. Why not also write a blog post, set your LinkedIn and Facebook statuses and call your local talk back radio show? If you or anyone you know has the ability to offer a room, a holiday house or any form of emergency shelter, please register. Your generosity will directly help the victims of the worst natural disaster in Australia's recorded history.

Have you got an idea of how to spread the word? Let me know in the comments.

Inspiration

This website was inspired by a similar concept used during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in the New Orleans. There, it achieved great success and helped thousands of people find shelter in their darkest hours. We hope Bushfire Housing can do the same here.

What's In Store For The Site?

We wrote the whole site in about 8 hours and have spent the last 6 hours working on minor bug fixes and UI updates. Given the nature of the site, we're working extreme agile; ideally having multiple release cycles per day. Phase two updates include SMS notification, Google map integration and more. If you have any suggestions or feedback, leave a comment.

Comments

Nice work Ben et al!

Might I recommend a 'Tweet This' type link/button around the place with a link like this:

Spread the word on Twitter

(here's hoping HTML links work in blog comments...)

Good luck with the great project!

Thanks Paul! We're going to be adding Digg, Twitter and similar links today ;)

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