Hilary Saunders is a writer, editor, and proud alumna of The U. She firmly believes that rock and roll can save the world.
Soul for Soldiers
Celebrity Charities — The musical community has stepped up its collective game to help the homeless recently. Earlier this month, the (somewhat controversial) Homeless Hotspots initiative hit South By Southwest music and film festival in Austin and now, storied rock and roll singer Jon Bon Jovi is teaming up with the U.S. government’s Department of Veteran Affairs and Department of Housing and Development to create a digital app that assists homeless veterans.
Project REACH, as it’s called, stands for Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless. And the three players—JBJ’s Soul Foundation, VA, and HUD want to create an web/mobile app that will help these former soldiers find health clinics, food banks, and housing.
Ideally, the app will actually be utilized by a network of volunteers who will then provide such services to the nation’s approximately 67,000 homeless American veterans.
In order to create this charitable piece of technology, the three-piece collective is reaching out to developers everywhere through the form of a contest: design the winning app and win $25,000.
As ABC reported, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan mused, “We all use tablets, smartphones, laptops to check the scores of games…What if we could use the technology to help the homeless people on the corner.”
Bon Jovi himself even told the news organization, “The expectation here is that we reach caregivers and volunteers [with the app]” and noted that volunteer street teams could utilize the technology immediately.
The Project REACH app contest began last week and will continue accepting submissions until 11p.m. EST on July 27. Five $10,000-winning finalists will be announced with the grand prize winner on November 9 at 3 p.m.
Read more at Project REACH.