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As major hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, Jose, Maria—swept across the south, devastating residents and affecting communities around the nation, experts in IT and education reimagined an app to help homeowners back on their feet called Hope4Homes.

The original concept of an AVR-based trade school was created by Jack Werner, a master home inspector for the National Association of Home Builders. It was then enhanced through the work of Todd Feehan, head of Oklahoma’s Dad’s Plumbing, and Oral Roberts’ CIO Mike Mathews. Initially, the app was to serve as a virtual tool to teach carpentry, electrical, and other trades, but Hope4Homes soon morphed into a means to help homeowners learn how to complete simple tasks to help speed up repair to their damaged homes.

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“Using AVR in this capacity brings education and guidance to those that otherwise might not receive it in time—or are left to do their own repairs, but receive little direction,” said Mike Mathews, CIO, Oral Roberts University, and one of the leaders of the app project.

Hope4Homes is available on Apple IOS and Google Android devices and includes special guides to help those suffering from flooded homes—including damaged drywall, mold, and other damage. Tips and resources are compiled from FEMA and the Weather Channel and soon the virtual offerings will include electricity, drywall, and landscaping. The app is also offerings a series of webinar hosted by Werner and will feature how to reconstruct different parts of the home.

On-Demand Webcast: Listen as Mike Mathews, CIO of ORU, discusses his strategy behind creating a global digital society.

The app is sponsored by Houston Community College and Carousel Industries.

Reflecting on the project, Carousel CRO Jim Marsh said, “we are committed to helping their vision of a digital society become a reality by leveraging our unparalleled expertise in wireless technology, managed services and distance learning.”