The challenge: create an easy, free, smartphone and web app that gives the homeless information on when and where resources are available such as housing, health clinics and food banks.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki told Veterans Today, “This contest taps the talent and compassion of the Nation’s developer community.”
The contest is called Project REACH for Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless. The challenge opens March 22 and offers a $10,000 prize for the five finalists and a $25,000 prize for the grand prize winner. Contest guidelines and details on how to enter are available HERE.
Submissions must be in by July 27, 2012. Judging is set July 28 through August 23, 2012. The five finalists will be named November 9th.
Five finalists will pilot their mobile applications at JBJ Soul Kitchen, where diners can cover the cost of their meals either through donation or volunteer service.
REACH is a collaboration between the VA, 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.
“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,” Jon Bon Jovi, chairman of the JBJ Soul Foundation and White House Council for Community Solutions Member, told Veterans Today.
The ultimate goal is to create a national platform that enables health clinics, food kitchens, housing services and shelters to update availability of key services automatically on the Internet. The winning app will collect, map, and electronically distribute that information for communities across the nation.
For details go to REACH the Homeless Challenge.