Connecting housing unstable youth with critical resources.

About Streetlight

Streetlight is a web and mobile app that connects housing unstable youth with critical resources like emergency shelters, food, health centers, mental health services and more.

It is designed to empower youth with information about the choices available to them, and to make youth feel like they are not alone by fostering a sense of community.

The problem

Originally released in 2017, Streetlight hit on a core need for housing unstable youth, but had critical bugs, was lacking in features, and did not provide flexiblity to update content over time.

The UX was unintuitive, and the UI was dark, hard to read, and uninspired by the youth it was trying to serve.

Our role

Shine Studio was hired to revitalize Streetlight. After an in-depth discovery phase, we completely redeveloped the app, adding several new features, substantially improving UX and UI, and implementing a powerful content management system that provides tons of flexibility to grow with the evolving needs of youth.

The revitalized Streetlight is focused around four core themes: Community, Empowerment, Safety, and Trust.

Book a bed

Book a bed allows users to reserve a bed for the night at an overnight shelter.

After several rounds of discovery with local shelters, Shine Studio developed a bespoke booking platform that addresses the specific needs of both youth and shelters.

It starts with the shelter dashboard, which allows each shelter to set them to set their own booking parameters like number of beds available, specific days where booking is available, and booking open and close times.

Each day users can see which locations have beds available and reserve directly from the app.


Find a bed

Book a bed

Booking admin dashboard


Connecting youth with resources is the number one goal of Streetlight, so we really wanted elevate this feature with our rebuild.

After speaking to over 40 youth, service providers, and subject matter experts in our Discovery phase, we focused our re-design efforts around three main things:

Streamline navigation to help users find what they are looking for faster.

Make significant UX/UI improvements to present important information upfront & clearly, using iconography and help text wherever possible.

Add new features like favorites, reviews, more advanced filtering, and more to make Streetlight a true tailored app experience for youth.

We wanted youth to feel like this app was truly designed for them, and we think we did just that.


Resource Categories

Resource Map



Spotlight is bite sized content designed to help youth build confidence by learning about different resources and services available to them.

This is a brand new feature inspired by several Discovery sessions we had with youth at overnight shelters and drop-in centers. It addresses an unmet need by centralizing information on the complicated aspects of housing instability in Chicago, breaking stigmas about going to shelters, and arming youth with information with the hopes of helping them make more empowered decisions.


Spotlight mobile

Spotlight desktop


Community features short-form, blog style posts from service providers in the Streetlight community. Posts cover a wide range of topics including news, events, tips, and alerts aimed add addressing the evolving needs of youth.

This is another new feature inspired by our Discovery work. Each post lists the author and organization, building around our core themes of community and trust.


Community screen


Content Managememt

Content management was a major deficiency of the previous version of Streetlight. The existing system gave extremely limited ability to update content in the app - in some cases no ability at all.

To address these issues we integrated Sanity, a user-friendly platform that helps people organize and manage content for websites and applications without requiring deep technical expertise.

We created a new content structure that allows admins to easily create, update, and delete resources, resource categories, spotlight and community content that feed directly into the website and mobile app from a single source of truth.

We also gave admins control over things like filter and review options, providing the ability to craft the user experience as user needs adjust over time.


Content Management System

Resource in app

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