Mobile App’s Offer Direct Service to Youth

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HackforSFosterYouthLA brought together Our Children LA, the creator of the WIN app for homeless youth, and other local nonprofit app developers, for a 2 day hackathon hosted in Silicon Beach. The first day of the event marked a momentous announcement of a new data direction for the county. Maribel Marin, Executive Director of 211, (the public/private entity responsible for the single largest aggregation of the county’s public and nonprofit service data) announced that the agency was changing a long standing “no datashare”policy and effective immediately,would nonprofits grant access to its database.

Keynote speaker Mayor Garcetti praised the hackathon participants and encouraged the technology and social services to bridge traditional divides and work together to find innovative paths towards improving the government and social service sectors’ ability to serve at-risk children and youth. Challenge groups were formed and hack teams listened to nonprofit leaders and policy officials describe needs and barriers before settling down for a night of coding. The event closed on Saturday afternoon with over half a dozen hack teams reporting their visions for technological solutions to the defined social challenges. Notably all solutions were made possible by mobile app technology.

The event, hosted by the Pritzker Foundation, did a fine job of showcasing the various ways mobile technology can be used to improve social services and DCFS and the Mayor’s office seemed to be listening!

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