We are honored that StreetLight Chicago was among 25 finalists announced Monday night at the annual Chicago Innovation Awards, the 2019 co-winner of its Collaboration Award.
A free mobile app of resources to assist homeless youth, StreetLight Chicago is a joint project of the Young Invincibles and the Youth Futures mobile legal clinic at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. The app and a companion website connect youth and service providers to resources, including access to a 24/7 crisis text line and a Book-a-Bed feature at four overnight youth shelters.
Launched in November 2016, StreetLight has been supported by generous grants and collaboration with the VNA Foundation. The app has more than 3,400 downloads, with about 400 providers and youth also accessing its website each month.
Winners were announced at an event held at Chicago’s Harris Theater, with nearly 1,500 business and civic leaders, and supporters of innovation in attendance. The Chicago Innovation Awards, celebrating its 18th year, is the Chicago region’s foremost recognition of the most innovative new products or services brought to market each year. Also winning the collaboration award was
“With winter quickly approaching, it’s important as ever that housing-insecure Chicagoans have a one-stop-shop for finding a warm bed, medical care, and other services to help make ends meet,” said Erin Steva, Midwest Director of the Young Invincibles. “That’s why Streetlight Chicago is leading the way to build new, innovative solutions to help housing-insecure Chicagoans find the resources and support they need in safe environments. We’re incredibly proud of the app’s success and thank the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless for their tireless dedication to ending homelessness in Chicago.”
“We are thrilled that StreetLight Chicago is recognized as a Chicago Innovation Award winner,” said Patricia Nix-Hodes, Director of the CCH Law Project. “Through our partnership with the Young Invincibles and with support from the VNA Foundation, over 15,000 homeless young people in Chicago have access to up-to-date information on resources, including shelters, drop-in centers, housing assessments, health centers, and food resources. StreetLight Chicago is an innovative and effective tool to connect youth with much needed services that helps bring stability into their lives.”
“450 organizations were nominated for this year’s awards,” said Luke Tanen, Executive Director of the Chicago Innovation Awards. “As a group, these nominees generated over $13.9 billion in new revenues from their new products and services, along with the creation of 1001 patents. The 25 winners represent the best from this very impressive group.”
Winning organizations receive a variety of honors including the opportunity to ring the Nasdaq Bell in New York City, and meetings with the Mayor of Chicago, Governor of Illinois, Cook County President, and leaders from the United Nations.
A complete list of the 2019 winners is on the Chicago Innovation website. The Collaboration Award was co-presented to Zooniverse, a project of Adler Planetarium, University of Minnesota, and the University of Oxford.
The Chicago Innovation Awards are supported by Founding Diamond Sponsor Theron Technology Solutions; Diamond Sponsors Accenture and SMS Assist; Gold Sponsors Comcast Business and Wintrust Financial; Silver Sponsors Exelon, Vedder Price, and others.