As the holidays ramp up, and a number of events and activities take place across the city, a new app promises to keep track of it all. The HUT Community Hub created and managed by LIFE, the non-profit Legacy International Foundation for Education Inc. in Trenton, was developed and built during the pandemic to help Trentonians find recourses across the city. Nickey Enders, Community Outreach and Operations Director, explains that it is meant to help those in the city.
“We started the app during COVID because it was a critical time and people needed a lot of resources and not a lot of information was easily available,” Enders said. She explains that within Trenton, there are many resources and many places for people to go, but no directions on how to get there. “There was nowhere in the city of Trenton one direct place to go and get information, so we were having a conversation, and we were saying, we should create an app.”
This App was a long-term idea for Mien Patrick Mombo III, Executive Director and the app designer. The pair worked tirelessly at the beginning of the pandemic to set it up and get the information. Mombo was the designer and Enders was the community advocate, gathering the information to put into the App.
The Hut App is designed with features for users to explore the city from an events calendar to resources for everything from food access to hotlines for mental wellness. There is even a section devoted to youth opportunities within the city.
“We are just trying to…give people in the community access to information that we have,” Mombo said. “This information is not useful if you can not share with somebody else… So that’s one of our biggest goals is to share whatever information you have with the community.”
Though there is a different connection the two creators of the app share, their relationship to Liberia, both Enders and Mombo are Liberian immigrants, and part of the app’s design is influenced by the “Palava Hut,” a communal meeting place where people gather and discuss important issues, resources, and opportunities that impact the community. LIFE Inc. has created scholar programs here in Trenton and Liberia, helping children and families achieve their goals.
“(Our goal is) to increase exposure and equitable access to educational resources and opportunities for young people and families,” Mombo said. “People who are living in under-resourced low-income communities. we accomplish that goal by increasing their exposure and equitable access to resources.”
You can download the HUT App on Google Play or the App Store. https://www.facebook.com/groups/thehutcommunityhub/