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VA, HUD, and Bon Jovi Team Up to Help Homeless Vets

A homeless Veteran receives medical care at a Stand Down. The departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development are asking developers to create an app that will help homeless Veterans find shelter.: U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jake Berenguer

Two federal agencies – the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development – have teamed up to present Project REACH.  REACH stands for Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless.  It is a federal app challenge for developers to create a mobile app that would help caregivers and homeless Veterans find resources in their immediate area.

The desired application would be a portal for homeless Veterans and would allow anyone to look up available beds and other resources in the area in real time.  The competition runs from March 22 to July 27.

The finalists will be announced in November, and the grand prize winner will be announced in November.  Finalists will receive $10,000, and the winner will be awarded $25,000.

Where did the idea for Project REACH originate?  From none other than Jon Bon Jovi, who is an avid philanthropist in addition to being a rock star.  He founded JBJ Soul Kitchen in New Jersey – a community restaurant with no set prices run by volunteers.  Diners either pay a donation or volunteer in lieu of payment.

Bon Jovi saw the need for such a mobile app when a volunteer asked for help finding a bed for the night.  Other volunteers searched the internet for information, but they could not determine if there were any available beds in the area.

Some have doubts about the usefulness of the project, questioning how many homeless Veterans have a smart phone or other device capable of running such an application.

However, the project’s sponsors explained that the app is ultimately designed as much for those looking to help homeless Veterans as it is for the Veterans themselves.  Even Veterans without a smart phone or tablet could take advantage of the app at places like soup kitchens, homeless shelters and job centers.

0 Response

  1. But no one addresses the fact that as veterans do not become homeless overnight and they are pleading for help so as not to become homeless and no one responds. They only act or do something inadequate after it is too late. We need to stop homelessness before it happens and not allow veterans to be evicted or have to make a choice between paying rent or buying food or getting to their doctors or paying for their medicine or collecting benefits or working a minimum wage job part time because it is all that is available and then losing benefits because they are working.

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