The Herluma project has evolved slightly since our original development during the summer. Before, we had designed a system that allows shelters to update and track their available beds, as well as view what other shelters have available in the city. There was a problem though; no shelter truly knew what they had available until someone missed their check-in time, after which they would offer the spot to someone else. Essentially, our system had become one more thing for them to track and manage on their shift; completely the opposite of what we wanted to accomplish! So, after some further investigation and understanding of their workflows, we decided to adapt the software to help shelters manage their waitlists and logbooks. This will solve our original problem (allowing someone to see what is available in the city) while also streamlining internal processes for the staff.

Currently, we have a working prototype of this updated system and we are collecting feedback from shelters across BC to inform our design refinement. We’re also forming a new organization to carry on the development, scale, and deploy the system Canada-wide either for free or at-cost for emergency shelters. The project is being carried on by Parker DeBruyne at the moment, with occasional help from Mobina Rafieipour in between her classes. Tremendous amount of mentorship and guidance is also being given by INSPIRE, The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, The Coast Capital Innovation Center, and Professor Francois Bastien from the University of Victoria.

We are thrilled to offer internships to team 6 from this year’s Westmont Design Challenge to work on Herluma, as their project aligned closely with Herluma’s goals.


Parker Debruyne

Parker Debruyne

Second year Computer Science & Statistics undergraduate at UVic


The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (GVCEH) is a regional backbone organization that, in collaboration with the homelessness sector in the Greater Victoria region, works towards a mission of ensuring there is adequate and safe housing, shelters, support, and services for everyone facing homelessness. The GVCEH wants an INSPIRE Team to develop an easily accessible way for women+, who are at risk of violence and homelessness, to learn about and access safe and appropriate housing, support, and services.