New Website and App Helps Set Up Homeless People With Housing

iStock.com/Lana2011
iStock.com/Lana2011

Transitioning from homelessness to affordable housing is rarely a smooth process, but a new platform aims to make it a little easier. As Fast Company reports, Lease Up is an app and website designed to connect landlords to caseworkers looking to place people without homes in apartments in Los Angeles.

Lease Up, a project from the nonprofit People Assisting The Homeless (PATH), resembles a regular real estate search app. Case managers can narrow down results based on factors like bedroom size and proximity to spots like health clinics and grocery stores. On the other end, landlords can list an available apartment, and after it's been inspected, they're paid a holding fee of up to $1100 as an incentive to set it aside for a homeless client. The payment comes from a Los Angeles sales tax recently passed to help fund services for the homeless.

The platform offers a few advantages over the conventional way of doing things. Instead of juggling calls from multiple caseworkers before finding a tenant, Lease Up streamlines the process for landlords, and they can use the website and app as a customer service resource if they have any questions. In addition, listings are updated in real time, which can save time and frustration for case managers looking to find homes for their clients as quickly as possible.

By making it more convenient to list apartments, the team behind Lease Up hopes to get more landlords involved in programs that provide housing to homeless people. They aim to get at least 2000 listings uploaded to their database in 2019.

[h/t Fast Company]

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar

Funko
Funko

Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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What Movie Do You Want to Watch? This Website Analyzes Film Critic Reviews to Help You Choose

She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
She's smiling because it only took her two minutes to choose a movie.
Rowan Jordan/iStock via Getty Images

Much like sommeliers can detect subtle notes of who-knows-what in a sip of wine, film critics are fantastic at identifying influences and drawing parallels between movies. Cinetrii is a handy website that crowdsources all that movie knowledge to help you find your next favorite film.

Basically, you enter the name of a movie you enjoyed in the search bar, and the site will show you a node graph with film recommendations splintering off the search query. Click on one, and you’ll see a quote from a critic (or critics) who referenced the films together. This way, you get a list of recommendations based on different aspects of the movie, and you get to decide for yourself what you’d like to see more of.

If, for example, you were blown away by the special effects in Christopher Nolan’s Inception, you might like Doctor Strange; according to Variety, it boasts “a staggering visual effects innovation, in which the building-bending seen in Christopher Nolan’s Inception is taken to an extreme that would blow even M.C. Escher’s mind.” If what the Chicago Tribune calls an “elegant brain-bender” quality appealed to you more, The Matrix might be a perfect fit.

Films above your search query were released before the movie you typed in, while films below came out after it. The shorter the line, the more closely the films are related, as calculated by the website’s algorithm. And, as Lifehacker points out, that algorithm doesn’t give any special treatment to massive Hollywood blockbusters, so Cinetrii is an especially great way to find hidden gems. Because it shows you the critics' actual quotes, you’re not left to wonder why a certain film landed on the recommendations list—which can’t always be said for “Watch next” lists on streaming services.

You can explore Cinetrii here.

[h/t Lifehacker]