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You can pitch ideas to prevent homelessness in Cincinnati. Here's how

three people looking and pointing at a computer screen as seen from above
John Schnobrich
three people looking and pointing at a computer screen as seen from above

An online hack-a-thon in January invites the public to join a collaborative effort to prevent homelessness in Cincinnati.

Local organization Strategies to End Homelessness is leading the project, funded by a $2.1 million grant from the city. President Kevin Finn says the overall goal is to become proactive instead of reactive.

"Since we don't necessarily start collecting data on people until they're already homeless, it's a little bit like after the horse is already out of the barn, so to speak," Finn said. "So the direction we're trying to go into next is using data to identify people before they are homeless so that we can help them earlier."

The latest local data shows more than 6,000 Cincinnatians experienced homelessness at some point in 2022.

RELATED: Homelessness is on the decline in Hamilton County, but could be rising statewide

Finn says they hope the hack-a-thon will inspire new and innovative ideas to disrupt housing instability. The event is open to individuals or groups, including businesses or community organizations.

"The hack-a-thon specifically is going to ask entrepreneurs and people who aren't normally thinking about the issue of homelessness necessarily," Finn said. "We're trying to get their ideas of how to address the issue of housing instability, how we can use data in other ways to address these problems."

There’s a $1,000 cash prize for the winning idea, plus acceptance into an equity accelerator for entrepreneurs that includes a $5,000 investment.

The event kicks off online January 26. Learn more about how you can participate at

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.