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Feds Fight Homelessness With Mobile App Challenge

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Homeless veteran

A homeless veteran in New York City.

Credit: Jonathan Greenwald

The U.S. departments of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Health and Human Services and Bon Jovi's JBJ Soul Foundation recently launched the Project REACH Mobile App Challenge, which calls on developers to create a smartphone application to provide homeless veterans with real-time access to resources.

Project REACH is one of many contests federal agencies have launched under the Obama administration to spur the public to leverage federal data to create new service-oriented mobile apps.

The key to the challenge will be the Homeless Management Information System, an open data repository of information that stores data about homeless veterans and the resources available to them. "What this is really doing is building onto that to put the power of that information into the hands of the homeless and potential caregivers and even average citizens," says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

The contest will award five $10,000 grants to the developers who devise the most innovative apps as chosen by the judges. The app that receives the highest user satisfaction rating will win the challenge's $25,000 grand prize.

From InformationWeek
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