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Jersey Boys in the (Government) News

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Garden State rock stars Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are both in the news this month. The Boss has a new album and a tour, while Bon Jovi is expanding his ongoing service to the Obama administration.

On Monday, the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services departments teamed up to announce a contest to create a new digital tool to help the homeless.

The Project Reach Mobile App Challenge invites software developers to submit mobile and Web applications to make real-time connections between homeless and local shelters, health clinics and food banks. The top five entries will be awarded $10,000 each and a chance to test their wares at the nonprofit JBJ Soul Kitchen, run by Bon Jovi. The finalist gets $25,000. (REACH stands for Real-time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless.)

“At the Soul Kitchen we’ve seen the need for a simple, user-friendly, comprehensive application that connects those in need to resources in their community,” said Bon Jovi, who has been serving on the White House Council for Community Solutions. “As we sought out a solution to resolve the disconnect, we found the VA, HUD and HHS to be of like mind.”

Springsteen is also known for his support of local food banks, so don’t be surprised if he weighs in soon.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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