Tuesday, June 05, 2012

VA, HUD, HHS: Finalists of their Project REACH Developer Challenge

VA, HUD, HHS Join Jon Bon Jovi Today to Announce Finalists of their Project REACH Developer Challenge at the Health Data Initiative Forum
The Challenge: Create an App to Provide Real-Time Info & Streamline the Connection between Service Providers Aiding the Homeless

Five Finalists Will Now Test Their Apps at the JBJ Soul Kitchen to Determine Winning App

WASHINGTON – June 5, 2012 - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) today joined JBJ Soul Foundation Chairman, Jon Bon Jovi, to announce the five finalists of Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) during the Health Data Initiative Forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS).

The developer challenge was launched last March by the VA, in collaboration with the Departments of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), HHS, and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, which operates the JBJ Soul Kitchen - the community restaurant in Monmouth County, N.J., where competing apps will now be tested. The Project REACH developer challenge called for an online and web application that would provide real-time info to connect service providers who aid the homeless.

“To achieve our goal to end Veteran homelessness, it is vitally important that we capitalize on innovative ideas from the public and private sector. The developer community has responded quickly and creatively to harness technology to meet the needs of homeless Veterans and their providers,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. “I am grateful for their hard work on behalf of the Nation’s homeless Veterans.”

Today’s five finalists will receive a $10,000 cash prize and will now pilot their mobile applications at JBJ Soul Kitchen (a community kitchen where diners cover the cost of their meals either through donation or volunteer service). These easy-to-use mobile/web applications have been judged on their ability to update information about housing and shelter near JBJ Soul Kitchen. Additionally, finalists have been able to display information about local VA services, employment support, crisis hotlines and local legal assistance resources. read more>>>

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