CMS for Homeless Services Directory
May 9, 2011 6:51 AM   Subscribe

I want to create a Yelp-like, community-editable local search directory of resources available to the poor and homeless in my city. What CMS do I use?

This directory would help clinicians and social workers refer patients to appropriate services by answering questions like "What is the closest free HIV testing center near location X that is open Tuesdays at 6PM and has Spanish-speaking staff?" Ideally, the UI would be simple enough for nonprofessionals to use it as well.

I think that the database is simple enough (location, contact, hours of operation, services offered, scheduling method, &c), but I'm stuck on finding a good CMS for such data that:

  • is community editable
  • can use the google maps API (or any other map service that does public transit routing)
  • is navigable by smartphone
  • has some form of comments/ratings system

    The only recommendation I've had so far is tWiki, which supports structured data but looks like it would be a bear to optimize for local search. I'm more of an IT hobbyist than a professional, so out-of-the-box software appeals to me. Is there anything out there that fits this bill and doesn't break the bank?

  • posted by The White Hat to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
    I'm not sure a wiki is the way to go, but it may be. Based on what you said I'd suggest buddypress as the easiest, and Drupal, which would require more work, but may actually be the better tool.
    posted by Blake at 7:09 AM on May 9, 2011

    Best answer: You probably want a local wiki. They're working on it. If you're interested in being a test pilot, the form is here. Here in Davis, we use the Davis Wiki by the folks who are working on the Local Wiki, and it's used heavily by many people in the community.

    They are community editable and have a comments system. I remember an earlier edition of Davis Wiki was compatible with Google Maps. That seems to have gone away for now, but I'm pretty sure it will be back, and you can probably talk to the folks who run it and see what the story is with that. Since they're working on developing the Local Wiki right now (and welcome software developers to help out right now), I'd imagine it is or will be compatible with Smartphones, but I don't have one, so I can't verify that for you.

    If you want to get started right now, see about using Wiki Spot, which is what currently runs the Davis Wiki.
    posted by aniola at 7:50 AM on May 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

    Rereading your question, I think the Wiki Spot may be what you're looking for (not the local wiki).
    posted by aniola at 7:52 AM on May 9, 2011

    There was a wordpress theme or a plugin that turned the blog in to a yelp like site.
    I can't find it right now, but search along that path and you might be able to find it.
    posted by WizKid at 2:51 PM on May 9, 2011

    Response by poster: Update: went with Wiki Spot. Expect a post to projects late next Fall.
    posted by The White Hat at 12:25 PM on June 8, 2011

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