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Heart is a project working directly with the LA City Attorney’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team. We are building a database and case management system to streamline their workflow and enable them to scale their program. Find us on the Hack for LA Slack #heart.

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HEART Project


develop is now the default branch to work against for all development (edited)

Tien or Roland will merge develop into master periodically when it’s time to update the demo!

(more info here on how to work with master, develop and feature branches:

Project Leaders

  • Marie-Aimée Brajeux (Project Lead)
  • Tien Yuan and Roland Abregorivas (joint Tech Lead)

Table of Contents

  1. About the project
  2. Quick Start Guide
  3. Detailed Start Guide
  4. Loging into App
  5. Using Postgres
  6. Using pgadmin

About the Project

This project meets on Monday at the westside hacknight. We are working with a program of the City of LA's Attorney's Office which supports the Criminal Record Clearing Project by administering the Los Angeles County Homeless Court Program. HEART (Homeless Engagement and Response Team) works with adults who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness to help them resolve eligible traffic and pedestrian infraction citations by engaging in services instead of paying fines and fees they cannot afford.

HEART staff connects with potential program participants in person at events providing access to a variety of social, medical and human services. Provided they engage with a certain number of service providers, the HEART team will collect relevant personal information to research and investigate any outstanding eligible citations participants may have. Staff will then file motions with the relevant courts to request a dismissal and/or suspension of fines, and a recall of associated warrants.

Hack for LA has been working with the program's staff to design and build a better processing system, helping to streamline in-person client intake, data processing and the filing of motions.

Find us on the Hack for LA Slack on the channel #heart, or join us at one of our meetings, every Monday night in Santa Monica.

Installation Guide

This serves both the backend api and frontend pages for the processing system and will be used to review and process participant info. Below is a brief overview of the tech involved in this project.

  • Express is serving the api and an index page
  • Jest runs the tests
  • Linting is setup with the airbnb style guide
  • CI is setup with Travis-CI
  • Some simple routes exist for a notes table
  • Postgres is seeded with participant table and a citations table



  • Latest version of Docker is required must be installed on your computer.
  • Node and NPM does not have to be installed but it is highly recommended.

Installation Instructions

  1. cd into main-app
  2. run docker-compose build
  3. run docker-compose up once the obove command is finished running. This will bring up heart_node, heart_postgres, and heart_pgadmin containers and start the application.
  4. Go to localhost:3000 to access main-app using user: demo password: pwd123
  5. Go to localhost:8080 to access pgadmin using user: password: pgadmin.

See "How to browse postgres using pgadmin" section below if you wish to see the db structure.

To run tests

  1. ensure your containers are up with docker-compose up
  2. run docker exec -it heart_node npm test (This will work for now but it is slow so we are exploring other options)


This project provides a dockerized node app, postgres and pgadmin. A local database is not required to start working on this project.

To use what we've provided, you'll need the latest version of NodeJS, Docker and Docker Compose (comes with a standard Docker Desktop installation for Mac and Windows.)

File Structure

\design                 // contains design files
\main-app               // contains the full application
  \api                  // contains all the backend code
  \client               // contains the front-end code
  docker-compose.yml               // you are reading it


App Login

User: demo Password: pwd123

PGAdmin Login

User: Password: pgadmin

Start Guide

Use your favorite Command Line Interface (e.g. bash or powershell) and change into the main-app directory.

Enter the commands:

 docker-compose build
 docker-compose up (after above command finishes)

This downloads and builds the base Docker images (if needed), and starts all services.

node can now be accessed from http://localhost:3000. It serves the main-app.

pgadmin can now be accessed from http://localhost:8080. It's a GUI for browsing postgres.

postgres service exposes the standard PostgreSQL port 5432. It serves the main-app database.

Docker Commands

[SERVICE] is node, postgres or pgadmin

If one service or another is already started:

docker-compose up [SERVICE]

To stop the service(s):

docker-compose stop [SERVICE]


Connecting to the postgres service

The default port is 5432

The default postgres credentials are:


Connecting from an application**

Use the PostgreSQL connection URI:


With our defaults:



The default pgadmin login credentials are:**

How to browse postgres using pgadmin**

Go to localhost:8080 and login.

Then trom the top navbar Object > Create > Server.

On the General tab, fill in whatever Name you want.

On the Connection tab, fill in:

  • Hostname/address: postgres (the name of the local service, as noted in docker-compose.yml

  • Port: 5432 (default)

  • Maintenance database: postgres (default)

  • Username: postgres (from POSTGRES_USER)

  • Password: postgres (from POSTGRES_PASSWORD)

The rest of the fields can be left blank. Click Save to connect.

In the future, the server you saved can be used again

Local Data Persistence / How to Destroy

If the services are started and stopped as outlined above, changes made within the postgres database server (e.g. creating tables, inserting data) and the pgadmin client (e.g. server connections, preferences) will persist between restarts.

An alternative command can stop and completely remove all services and any associated local storage. *This is destructive*:

docker-compose down [SERVICE]


Heart is a project working directly with the LA City Attorney’s Homeless Engagement and Response Team. We are building a database and case management system to streamline their workflow and enable them to scale their program. Find us on the Hack for LA Slack #heart.








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