It’s an exciting day here at Zeitspace, as yesterday one of our projects launched in a very public way.
SHORE Centre is a Kitchener-based not-for-profit that has provided judgement-free sexual health information and support to people in our community for decades. Zeitspace worked with SHORE to create a web app called Choice Connect, a new way to access their abortion provider referral service. We designed and developed this software app, which provides trusted referrals to clinics and hospitals for women who need them. Moreover, we provided our design and development services to SHORE Centre free of charge, though for us that’s the least interesting part of this story.
Why did we decide to work for SHORE this way? There are a few reasons.
What they’re doing is important. Abortion remains a controversial subject in Canada. As a result, access to one is needlessly difficult in Waterloo Region, adding stress to an already stressful situation for any woman who makes the choice to get one. SHORE has a simple mission is “to promote choice through accurate sexual health education and confidential pregnancy options support”. As human beings living in the Region, we find that pretty compelling.
Lyndsey Butcher, the Executive Director of SHORE Centre, impressed us tremendously. She’s smart, articulate, and a passionate advocate for the work that SHORE does. And when we met she had definitely done some homework in defining what SHORE needed in order to support providing referrals for women to abortion providers; she had recently gone through the Fierce Founders program at Communitech. She’s also persuasive!
We realized that our work would have a big impact on an under-resourced organization and the people it serves. When we understood what Lyndsey was hoping to create, we realized that Zeitspace could help. We started by creating a prototype to help SHORE Centre raise money to build the real thing. When funding didn’t materialize we then decided to just go ahead and build the real thing. Neither the design and creation of the prototype nor building the real application would be burdensome for us — we would do the work during breaks in our regular project work. And we knew that the impact would be immediate, direct, and big, as SHORE could never have done this on their own.
But the impact wasn’t just on SHORE and its stakeholders.
Our experience helping SHORE had a direct impact on how we think about Zeitspace, the work we do, and our place in the world. As a young company (we celebrated our first birthday this past Hallowe’en) we’re still finding our way and figuring out how to work and be a part of our community/communities. The experience of working with SHORE provided us with a viable model for doing good work in our community, while applying our craft and doing what we love to do. And now that we know how the model could work, we’re going to continue to refine it and engage with organizations for whom we think we can make an impact. We’ve embraced the notion of devoting our “excess capacity” to have an impact on our community.