L.A. County Announces Winners Of Technology Innovation Challenge

LOS ANGELES—On Friday, July 30, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative announced the winners of its Technology Innovation Challenge.

The Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative was launched by the County’s Board of Supervisors in 2015. As per its website, the Technology Innovation Challenge aims to “create partnerships with the technology sector to encourage innovation, creativity and sustainable solutions that will have the most impact on the homeless services delivery system.”

Winners were selected in four separate areas: “Centralized Customer Portal,” “Customer-Driven Mobile Digital Services,” “Geo-Mapping Hub & Resources,” and “Operational Reporting of Performance Outcomes.”

“One-LA-Connection” by One Degree was the winning Centralized Customer Portal. It is a digital hub for homeless residents of Los Angeles County “to be screened for, apply for, and manage services needed to stabilize and thrive.”

In the Customer-Driven Mobile Digital Services category, Akido Labs—in partnership with HOPICS—developed the winning project. Called “Connect,” the project is a digital platform that simplifies the process of accessing “homeless services data.”

Huemen Design won in both of the final two categories with just one project: “LA Helplink.” It is a “human-centered, intuitive platform” that collates and centralizes data “to enable data-based decision-making.” 

The winners were selected by Phil Ansell (Director of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative), Heidi Marston (Executive Director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority), and William Kehoe (Los Angeles County Chief Information Officer). Each award recipient will receive a $200,000 – $500,000 share from a total amount of $1.375 million. 

According to the County, the three projects “will now be customized to meet current homeless services needs” and will start being implemented in January 2021.