Last month, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced the winner of their Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless) initiative: a mobile application that provides resources for people who are homeless and those serving people who are homeless. The free application finds real-time information on health care, food sources, counseling, legal help, transportation and more, based on a user’s current location.
Project REACH is a collaborative effort between the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Health and Human Services and the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The mobile application that was chosen as this year’s winning project was made by a company called Qbase LLC, worldwide technology support and information company with an office in Virginia.
Similar tools for people who are homeless have been cropping up a lot recently. A simple Google search provides databases, websites and blogs devoted to resources for people who are homeless, oftentimes penned by the very people they serve. Paired with the ubiquity of cell phones, access to internet at libraries or coffee shops, it makes perfect sense to gather all of this information online.
As our world has become more digitally connected, information and opportunities are more often found online. Developing applications and programs that make it easier to access such resources can help spread the word about openings at shelters, educational opportunities, free meals, or job openings. Not to mention the benefits of feeling connected to what is happening in the community.
We applaud the Project REACH initiative winner and hope to see more projects like this in the future!