Additionally, he said that having lived in the area, he knew that the priests, parishes, and bishops are "especially eager and committed" to better engage the young adults who live in the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Arlington.
Niehaus believes that Koin will be addressing a presently under-served in parish life, that will result in more connections and activities to better engage young adults. He pointed out how apps like Airbnb and Uber "unlocked a previously untapped supply of houses and cars, respectively," which is something Koin is aiming to do with events and community.
"The idea is that Catholics can find other Catholics who share their interests and passions, so that can include, in theory, everything from running to knitting to skydiving, or worshipping," he said.
Groups and events that run counter to Church teaching will not be allowed on the app, and users will have the ability to block or report certain users if the they behave inappropriately either on the app or in person.
The goal of creating community amongst young adult Catholics is an important one, Niehaus said. He cited research which suggested that more than one in 10 Catholics leave the Church due to a lack of community, something that he hopes his app is able to address.
"We have seen first-hand and through others the pain that our brothers and sisters are suffering: loneliness, isolation, anxiety, frustration," he said. "We've seen that and worse: dear friends leaving the Church completely for reasons that aren't outside of our control."
"Koin isn't a panacea, but we--and the hundreds of young adult Catholics who've signed up in the DC area--think it's a step in the right direction," he said.
While Koin will be launching first in the Washington area, Niehaus said that there are plans to expand the app's presence to other major metropolitan areas, such as Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Los Angeles.
Those who are interested in being notified when Koin launches in their area can sign up for email notifications on the app's website.