Apps Would Provide Mobile Access to Homeless Services
WASHINGTON – March 19, 2012 - The Department of Veterans Affairs launched a new contest today to help the people who help the homeless. It challenges the developer community to create easy, mobile access to resources that the homeless need, when they need it and where they can get it.
“This contest taps the talent and compassion of the Nation’s developer community,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “We are asking them to make a free, easy-to-use Web and smartphone app that provides current information about housing, health clinics and food banks.”
Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) was announced in collaboration with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the lives of people facing economic challenges.
“Last year’s 12 percent drop in Veterans homelessness shows the results of President Obama’s and the whole administration's commitment to ending Veterans homelessness,” said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan. “I want to thank Jon Bon Jovi for being a part of that effort and for using competition and innovation to advance the cause of ending homelessness.”
One out of every six men and women in homeless shelters are Veterans, and Veterans are 50 percent more likely to fall into homelessness compared to other Americans. The administration has adopted a formal “no wrong door” philosophy that means all Veterans seeking to prevent or escape homelessness must have easy access to help.
“At the Soul Kitchen we’ve seen the need for a simple, user-friendly, comprehensive application that connects those in need to resources in their community. As we sought out a solution to resolve the disconnect, we found the VA, HUD and HHS to be of like mind. Together we can provide the information about existing services – now we need the bright minds in the developer community to create a platform to tie it all together,” said Jon Bon Jovi, musician, Chairman of the JBJ Soul Foundation and White House Council for Community Solutions Member. read more>>>