Connecting those in need with people who have extra stuff
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.

👕 Spare App Build Status

A project that connects people in need of clothing and other essentials with people in the community who have things to spare. It's kind of like one on one Goodwill. The main objective is to foster interactions between the housed and unhoused. The donation is the mechanism for building these connections throughout our community. \o/

Table of Contents

Project Status

Currently, we’re working on building this prototype. The first objective is to provide a way to request items, share those requests with potential donors and then connect them through an outreach coalition or a nonprofit. While, we’re building this app, we’re also working on a lightweight solution (using Google Forms and email) to gather requests and ask for donations in just a few neighborhoods. You can see that at

We’re looking for a nonprofit partner right now that can provide a consistent time and location to do the donation handoffs. We’re also considering facilitating “meetup style” events to trade donations.


  1. Send out a survey to answer the questions in “What we want to learn” (Complete)
  2. Launch a survey to take requests manually and build a mailing list of potential donors (In progress)
  3. Launch a web app that can take requests, show donations and provide options for dropoff time/location (In progress)
  4. Get feedback from donors and requesters on the initial web app
  5. Iterate on the website

Ways to Contribute

Also, ping us on the Hack for LA Slack on the #spare channel if you can help. We'd love to have you!

Setup Instructions

1. Clone project repo

git clone
cd spare

2. Create local env variable file

Copy .env to, then edit dev file to change SECRET_KEY value.

(Note the SECRET_KEY value, used by django, can be any string you choose)

cp .env

3. Install Docker and Docker Compose



Create the docker group and add your user

Add the docker group

sudo groupadd docker

Add your user to the docker group

sudo usermod -aG docker $USER

4. Build Docker images

docker-compose build

5. Run Docker containers

docker-compose up

At any point, Ctrl-C stops the containers.

Note: On first setup, the server may sometimes start before the database, causing an error. In this case, Ctrl-C to stop all containers and re-run Docker Compose.

6. Access container bash shell

Next, open a second terminal and execute the following command to list all docker containers currently running:

docker ps

Find the the server container image (probably spare_server), and copy the container ID.

Next, execute the following command to access the container's bash shell, replacing CONTAINER_ID with the container's ID hash.

docker exec -t -i CONTAINER_ID bash

7. Run initial migrations

Once running bash inside of the server container (above), execute the following to run the initial database migrations:

python3 migrate

8. Create a superuser

Execute the following command to create a superuser for the project:

python3 createsuperuser

This will be the main superuser admin for your app.

Shortcut SetUp Management Command

To run initial migrations and create a superuser, run this command:

docker-compose run server python get_started

9. Login to Django Admin

You can now login to the Django Admin for your user at:


Important URLs


Note: Deployment requires access to associated Heroku apps.

1. Install the Heroku CLI

Heroku CLI

2. Log in to Heroku via CLI

heroku login

3. Build containers

Follow setup instructions to build and run all necessary containers.

4. Access client bash shell

Run the following to get ID of client container:

docker ps

Run the following to access client bash shell:

docker exec -t -i CONTAINER_ID bash

5. Run client build script

From inside the client bash shell, run the following:

npm run build

This will create a production build of the client and copy all necessary files to the server container.

6. Exit client bash shell

Run the following the exist the client bash shell:


7. Log in to Heroku container registry

Run the following to log in to Heroku container registry:

heroku container:login

Note: This is specific to the container registry and is required in addition to the Heroku login above.

8. Push container to Heroku registry

Navigate to the project root, and run the following to push the server container to the Heroku container registry:

heroku container:push web --recursive -a spare-production

9. Release server container

heroku container:release web -a spare-production

Product and Design Contributors

Our project brief is on Google Drive. We are using Github issues to track work that needs to be done. Ping Lex Roman on Slack if you are interested in contributing on the product or design side.

Spare Team

Join our #spare Slack channel -

Spare Team is