OurBrella is an open-source project with the goal of serving and empowering our houseless community in Portland and beyond. By utilizing an online network, as well as all-terrain, gas-free ground transportation, we will connect businesses such as restaurants with abundance with the people who need it most, those who live outside with scarcity.
The mode of transportation is a cargo bike equipped with an umbrella, and room for serving, battery power and storage.
Those who operate the bikes will be able to refer to an online map and identify nearby businesses with some excess goods to offer. Businesses can offer a specific pick-up window of time, GPS location, and choose to interact with the operator or not. Operators will be able to let the business know that they are on their way and that goods have been collected,
Operators will then go to distribution points in the communities that need it most, and visitors to the website will be able to track their location through GPS. Operators will notify their estimated time of departure, so that other potential donors might be able to find them and augment the distribution effort.
The initial bike will be equipped with not only an umbrella for rain or shine, and a platform to serve food, but also battery-powered acceleration. Businesses are also empowered to donate electricity to the bike operator as needed. Food will only be served that is prepared in commercial kitchens, and people will be notified they are responsible for their own consumption.
With community support, we will also be able to hire houseless bike operators and provide a living wage as well as a way to serve their own communities, and make this project sustainable for years to come.
Funded by Portland, OR (March 2019)