Ohana API

During our Code for America Fellowship, Sophia Parafina, Anselm Bradford, and I collaborated with the Human Services Agency in San Mateo County, CA to increase access to human services for residents in need. We built an open source platform called Ohana API that allows government, nonprofits, and community members to collaborate in maintaining a database of human services organizations, and allows developers to build impactful applications using this open data.

Our work was featured in several media outlets and was one of the winners of the Knight News Challenge for Health. We received a grant from the Knight Foundation to continue developing Ohana API in 2014.

I wrote all of the code and documentation for the API, the back-end code for the Web Search interface, some of the code for the Ruby API wrapper, and all of the code for the SMS app.

A live instance of the Web Search that we built for San Mateo County is up and running at

As the team spokesperson, I presented our project along with the Director of the San Mateo County Human Services Agency at the Code for America Summit in October 2013, and at the Healthy Communities Data Summit in May 2013 (see the Talks page).

Tools used: Sublime Text, iTerm, oh-my-zsh, Homebrew, RVM, Git, Gitbox, GitHub, Slack, Postgres, MongoDB, Elasticsearch, Redis, Memcachier, Rails, Ruby, Heroku, New Relic, Unicorn, Puma.


Coding Skills Combine With Civics to Improve Government – PBS NewsHour

Civic-minded hackers code well for the future – Los Angeles Times

Code for America fellows working to increase San Mateo County residents’ access to services – SF Examiner

Providing Access To Services That Help Americans With Their Food Security Using APIs - API Evangelist

Code for America Team Arrives in San Mateo County to Strengthen the Food Safety Net – San Mateo County Human Services Agency Press Release

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