The Veteran’s Affairs Innovation Initiative is holding a contest to encourage developers to create mobile apps that can help connect homeless people with the resources they need. The top prize is $25,000.

According to Project REACH’s Mobile App Challenge page, there were 636,017 homeless people in the United States of America last year; almost 50 percent of them were veterans. Another 37 percent are people with families, including children. Many resources like clothing banks, free clinics, shelters and soup kitchens aren’t connected, making it difficult for volunteers and social workers to point people in the right direction when help is needed.
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The contest accepts submissions from March 22, 2012 until July 27, 2012. The judging will take place between the close of submission and August 24, 2012. Five winners will be selected and each will receive $10,000. The apps will then be beta tested by workers at the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen in New Jersey for two months; the users will rate the app by how satisfied they were with it. The app with the highest marks will earn its creator the grand prize of $25,000.

The app submitted must be available for free, should be easy-to-use, and should be accessible via web and as a smartphone app. It must run on Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari or Firefox. It must work on either iPhone or Android; the winner of the $25,000 must be able to support both mobile platforms. The app has to support 99 percent uptime. The services it directs the person to should be located in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

For a complete list of requirements, check out Project REACH’s Rules. Applications are judged in the order they’re received. Applications can be uploaded directly through the Project REACH website.


Tags: Android, iphone, Jon Bon Jovi, mobile app, Project REACH

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