The application period for this challenge is now closed

  • Governer Partner :City of Las Vegas
  • Department :Community Services Department
  • Category :AI/ML, Data Analytics, Data Collection / Security, Process Improvement, Resident Engagement

Project Summary

Mobile based communication platform to connect homeless population with available housing.

Challenge Details

The City of Las Vegas is seeking a more effective and efficient means to connect persons needing housing with those who have housing available.

Currently, people experiencing homelessness and agencies trying to serve them are unable to communicate quickly and effectively when a housing placement/slot becomes available to an eligible client. The City of Las Vegas (CLV) Community Services staff may possess the necessary information to share with these stakeholders, but staff are unable to quickly locate the person awaiting housing. The person hoping to be matched with an available unit may be unaware that an opening exists before they are bypassed for the next person on the waiting list. As a result, a homeless individual or family may miss an opportunity to get housed.

The “Obama” cell phones, with wireless voice service, are free to eligible customers nationwide. The FCC compensates service providers the cost of customer airtime, 250 minutes free per month. The federal Lifeline program requires a physical address, but homeless individuals can use the address of a shelter or group home if they are registered there. The City of Las Vegas and its regional partners leverage these phones to maintain contact with homeless clients.

Big picture, CLV is trying to alleviate homelessness, but more specifically, CLV wants to address a fragmented service delivery process that has many potential points of failure for communicating the availability of a unit and the hopeful applicant actually being able to take advantage of the offer immediately.

CLV seeks to improve the communications loop between someone experiencing homelessness, the service provider and the potential landlord. Furthermore, CLV desires an electronic means for pushing notification to the mobile phone of the applicant, and enabling that applicant being able to acknowledge the notification and accept the offer using their mobile phone.

The City of Las Vegas is seeking the following outcomes:
-Streamlined, effective matching of homeless persons to housing.
-Eliminate manual searching for housing placements and tedious case notes in the HMIS system asking service providers to “be on the lookout” for a client.
-Smooth, confidential communications about housing connections.
-Cloud-based connection to nvhousing.org the statewide database of available affordable housing.
-When an appropriate spot becomes available a text or email notification goes to the case worker, the homeless individual and the landlord.
-All three stakeholders can communicate quickly to get someone housed.
-Provide an applicant with a notification in-time to actually take advantage of the officer.
-The landlord with the open unit would be able to place a person or family in it in an expeditious manner.