This is a terrific opportunity for mobile mapping professionals and LBS developers – An innovative competition from the VA (via Challenge.gov initiative) launches in a couple of days in an effort to spur on the developer community to create useful mobile apps that can help the homeless and others that are in need. From the VA… “We are asking them to make a free, easy-to-use Web and smartphone app that provides current information about housing, health clinics and food banks.”
The ultimate goal of the contest is to create a national platform that enables health clinics, food kitchens, housing services and shelters to update availability of key services automatically on the Internet. The winning app will collect, map, and electronically distribute that information for communities across the nation – competitors must also be able to display information about local VA services, employment support, crisis hotlines and local legal assistance resources. Finalists will be judged primarily on their ability to dynamically update information about housing and shelter near JBJ Soul Kitchen. Basic performance criteria is described in www.challenge.gov. Oh… the winner will received a cool $25,000
From Project REACH – We’ve launched this challenge to promote the development of an app that will provide easy access to resources that the homeless need, when they need it, and where they can get it. Volunteers and outreach workers should be able to use this app at places like Jon Bon Jovi’s Soul Kitchen to look up the location and availability of shelters, free clinics, and other social services, and instantaneously be able to share this information with those in need.
Read more about the challenge in this official PR – VA Competition challenges developers to create easy, mobile access to resources that homeless need