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"Project Reach" Finalist - Hawaii's Makani Kai Tech

Local Software Developer Named Finalist in "PROJECT R.E.A.C.H." Competition

Makani Kai Tech was named one of five finalists for mobile application competition aiding veterans on April 15, 2013.

The Department of Veterans Affairs ("VA"), the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), the Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS"), and the Jon Bon Jovi ("JBJ") Soul Foundation announced Makani Kai Tech as one of five finalists for its Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless) competition.

[Jon Bon Jovi speaking at podium]

Jon Bon Jovi of Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, one of the sponsors of "Project REACH" (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless).

The Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and Homeless) contest invited software developers to design a mobile application designed to make local assistance resources accessible to people helping homeless veterans and others in need.

The Obama Administration announced the goal of ending veteran homelessness by the end of 2015 a top priority. Awareness around VA services and homeless veterans as well as veterans at risk of becoming homeless has increased.

This competition was just one way of leveraging the growing use of smart phones and tablets to access information to assist the homeless population. The contest sought to tap the community of software developers to creatively and cost-effectively to create an app that would allow anybody to locate points of service for homeless individuals.

The developers would utilize available, open data from government agencies and leverage resources from the private sector and identify available services for homeless veterans in any locality across the country. The services include health clinics, food kitchens, or shelters within a test locality. For this challenge, the test location was identified as Monmouth County, New Jersey, where JBJ Soul Kitchen, a community restaurant in Monmouth County, New Jersey, is located.

For more information on Project REACH, please visit the VA's Center for Innovation.

Read HUD's official press release announcing the grand prize winner of "Project REACH".