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Asylum Connect Catalog

Code Final Product

A dynamic, online, centralized database of service providers useful to LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. (Fall 2016)

Technologies used: Python, Flask (for web application microframework), SQLAlchemy (for databases), Bootstrap (for responsive, mobile first framework for HTML, CSS, and JS), JQuery

About the Project

AsylumConnect’s current resource verification model is a bottleneck, as volunteers must search for and independently verify resources for each city that the organization expands into. In addition, volunteers are not (all) members of our target community, and therefore not the best-equipped to verify whether or not a resource is LGBTQ-friendly, asylum seeker-friendly, etc. By allowing community members to tag, verify, endorse, and report resources, AsylumConnect will empower its niche and highly marginalized community while also keeping members as safe as possible.

About the Client: AsylumConnect

AsylumConnect is an incorporated nonprofit startup creating the first website and mobile app to feature an online, centralized database of service providers for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. The AsylumConnect catalog will help persecuted LGBTQ people find fundamental human needs resources upon their arrival in the U.S.

You can find a link to their website here.

Users can go to Seattle catalog Users can go to Philadelphia catalog Users can select categories, features, and requirements of resources Users can expand a resource from the map and view as a list Users can print resource list (part 1) Users can print resrouce list (part 2) Users can suggest changes to resources, to be reviewed by admins


Upon arrival to the U.S. from countries where they are persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender expression, LGBTQ asylum seekers often have nowhere to go, no social support, and no legal right to work - many end up homeless. AsylumConnect strives to rectify this situation by assisting asylum seekers in locating and obtaining lifesaving resources. This simple idea has the potential to benefit an estimated 300,000 LGBTQ asylum seekers.

The Team

Fall 2016 Team members:


  • Dynamic resource database with CRUD (create, read, update, delete) capabilities

  • Automated form for resource submission, editing & reporting that publishes publication requests to the admin console

  • Admin console for managing, editing, approving or rejecting resource submissions

  • Searching resources by location (e.g., Select a City like Philly / Seattle)

  • Basic data integrity & privacy (minimize collection of identifying user information)

  • Basic Google Analytics to track custom user actions

  • (Looking ahead) Better resource geospatial visualization such as geolocation, directions, Google Street View

  • (Looking ahead) Ability to endorse features

  • (Looking ahead) When submitting a resource, check if resource already exists (de-duping)

  • (Looking ahead) Being able to sort resources by proximity

Technical Challenges


AsylumConnect Scales Catalog v3.0 to Philadelphia, PA