Tribepool is about making carpooling work for families. Tribepool
provides a platform that simplifies the coordination of cooperative,
private carpools within organizations to their participants.
Organizations, such as community groups and youth sports teams, can
improve access to their afterschool programs with the utilization of
tribepool which offers parents an alternative to self-driving.
Youth afterschool programs provide many benefits to participating children, their families, and our communities. Children that consistently attend afterschool programs gain improved academic performance, have improved physical health, and have the advantage of a safe and structured environment while their parents are at work. (Department of Education, 2014)
Many Pittsburgh families take advantage of the excellent programming opportunities offered by their school, libraries, sports, social, and community organizations. However, single mothers face unique challenges in trying to provide access for their children in youth afterschool programming. Children of single mothers are particularly vulnerable because their mothers are often working and therefore cannot themselves provide the time nor means to get them to and from such programs. In Allegheny County, there are over 50,000 children in single parent homes who are dependent on their mother’s earnings. (U.S. Census Bureau's "American FactFinder: Age of Own Children Under 18 Years in Families and Subfamilies by Living Arrangements By Employment Status of Parents." 05/08/2012) For some of these single parents, their economic circumstances can further complicate their participation in afterschool programming. To this point, 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 — a total of about 17.4 million nationally — are being raised without a father* and nearly half (45%) live below the poverty line**.(*U.S. Census Bureau – Table C2,Household Relationship and Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years, by Age and Sex: 2014; **U.S. Census Bureau - Table C8.Poverty Status, Food Stamp Receipt, and Public Assistance for Children Under 18 Years by Selected Characteristics: 2014.)
The Pittsburgh area has wonderful community opportunities for families and children. It is home to one of the oldest Boys and Girls Clubs in the country, the Sarah Heinz House, and our United Way offers programming strongly supported by a legion of volunteers. However, single mothers can often feel that these programs are out of reach because they may not have the means to get their children to program locations. Tribepool is hoping to help connect the children of single mothers to organizations that provide these valuable afterschool program opportunities.
WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO ACHIEVE
Our hope is that the recognition and funding provided by UpPrize will help us provide children of single mothers improved access to beneficial afterschool programming. The tribepool platform will partner with organizations that provide afterschool programming and support co-operative, safe, and transparent carpooling for participating children. We have currently reached out to both the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Sarah Heinz House to talk about challenges their members have in accessing their services. We are hopeful that tribepool can provide a service that will help organizations like these extend their programming to more children in our communities of Pittsburgh, and beyond..
HOW tribepool WORKS
The following is a narrative on how tribepool can benefit community organizations and children of single mothers. A community group partners with tribepool and offers its participating families access to our secure platform. The mother has two children who want to participate in afterschool programs at the Sarah Heinz House. The older son wants to participate in a robotics program and the daughter has an interest in their learn-to-swim program. When the mom register’s her son and daughter into those programs, she will be asked if she is interested in carpooling with other families enrolled in those programs. Sarah Heinz House then provides the necessary pass codes to the mother so she can enter the tribepool site. When the mom logs into tribepool with her smartphone or computer, she will be able to discover other participating families that belong to the Sarah Heinz House and who are registered in those same programs. From this list of families, she may initiate and respond to invitations to form carpooling groups, or “tribes,” for her children’s programs. Schedules of trips with riders and drivers can be created and confirmed, with trip details integrated into the family's e-calendar. If a carpool member needs to communicate to the carpool group with changes or updates, they can notify one another via an in-app text message.
Based on our customer discovery findings in the area, we have developed a wire-frame to explore the workflow of the user app and better understand the underlying data required to support the carpool service. As our next step, we are transforming this wire-frame design into a truer user experience / demo-ware version that will better represent the targeted solution to be developed. If we are chosen as one of the UpPrize finalists, we are hoping to fund subscriptions of tribepool’s carpooling service platform to Pittsburgh-based youth services organizations.