VA teams up with Jon Bon Jovi on apps contest
Celebrity rocker Jon Bon Jovi is lending a helping hand—and maybe even a guitar riff or two—to help the Veterans Affairs Department kick off a contest next week to develop a mobile application to help homeless veterans.
The VA, along with Bon Jovi and the Housing and Urban Development Department, are planning a joint announcement on March 19 of Project REACH (Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless), according to a media advisory.
The goal of Project REACH is to encourage volunteer software developers to create a user-friendly mobile application that will help service providers and caregivers around the country in locating available shelters, meals and care in real-time to assist homeless veterans and others.
It is not the first time that Bon Jovi, whose parents reportedly were both in the Marine Corps, has volunteered his time and services to help veterans. The JBJ Soul Foundation nonprofit organization he founded and chairs has donated more than $2 million to homeless causes in the Philadelphia area, according to news reports. Bon Jovi also formerly owned part of the Philadelphia Soul Arena Football League franchise that launched in 2004.
In 2008, Bon Jovi teamed up with Project H.O.M.E. in Philadelphia that works with homeless people, including veterans.
According to the VA, one out of every six men and women in our nation’s homeless shelters are veterans, and veterans are 50 percent more likely to be homeless in comparison to other Americans.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.