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Through our research at Austin Center for Design, we discovered that people who receive social service assistance are yearning for a channel to give back. Solely being on the receiving end makes people feel useless, indirectly hurting their emotional abilities to become self-sufficient. Many homeless individuals not only possess unique skills that they share with others, they do this as a mean to give back, feel valued, and belong. HourSchool aims to focus on people’s existing skills, shifting the emphasis from what they need to what they can offer.

Alex Pappas & Ruby Ku
512 879 8767

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June 18, 2013
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Our web-app prototype showcasing community classes with our pilot, GreenDoors, a local transitional housing community in Austin, TX.
A class page, showing detailed information about a specific community class.
Using metrics to showcase ones involvement in the HourSchool community and to showcase students who've become teachers. Also available to GreenDoors staff to use for internal funding purposes.
A snopshot of a few pages from our teachers handbook, one of the many resources created for potential teachers. Available for download here: http://www.hourschool.com/pdf/handbook.pdf
This video has been removed.
A video explaining the HourSchool community site. Check out the live community site here: www.hourschool.com

Contrary to public perceptions, many became homeless due to factors beyond their control - recession, natural disasters, or divorce. 40% of Austin’s homeless population are women and children, and the average age of a homeless person is 7. Self-worth plays a determining role between the temporarily and chronically homeless.


HourSchool is a platform for peer-learning and teaching, using classes as a structured, social, and accessible way for individuals to share their skills and passion. We set up tools to encourage and empower people to teach, especially ones who have never seen themselves as teachers. We believe teaching increases self-worth.