Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Homeless REACH

JBJ with the QBase Team at Health Datapalooza 2012
Last year the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development announced, in partnership with the JBJ Soul Foundation, a contest for development of a mobile application to direct people toward resources for homeless Veterans and others in need.  The five finalists in this competition were revealed at last summer's Health Datapalooza in Washington DC.

The finalist apps were evaluated by a panel of judges, including Jon Bon Jovi, and the apps were tested by Soul Kitchen volunteers who used them to identify resources for Kitchen patrons.

This week the winner was announced:  QBase of Reston VA, for their mobile app "Homeless REACH"

The app is available free for both Apple and Android systems, through iTunes, Google Play, or the Homeless REACH site.  The Homeless REACH website offers the same functions as the mobile apps, allowing people to quickly identify housing, transportation, legal services, food, facilities, and other resources to aid those in need.  


In addition to the winning app, the other finalist apps can be downloaded from the VA Center for Innovation's website.

I downloaded the Homeless REACH app and was very impressed with its ease of use and capabilities.  When I typed in my location, which is in a fairly rural area, I was astonished to discover so many resources nearby -- many I had never even heard of.  Not only is this app a tool to identify services for the needy, it's a great way to discover opportunities to volunteer and get involved in your community.

With this tool, one person can make a potentially life-changing (or life-saving) difference for someone in need.  Download it, play with it... Be prepared.  You never know when you might have the opportunity to help.

Because, now more than ever, YOU CAN make a difference.

Read the official HUD press release HERE

JBJ at Health Datapalooza 2012


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