Homelessness outreach workers in Reno, Nevada, have a new app

Reno, Nevada, is providing its homelessness outreach workers with a new mobile app hoped to reveal which efforts are driving the greatest impact.
Reno, Nevada

The City of Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday announced a mobile app hoped to optimize the efforts of the city’s homelessness outreach workers. 

The new app, called Direct Resource Outreach & Placement Service, or DROPS, was developed by the software firms ServiceNow and NewRocket. It allows outreach workers to enter demographic data on the go, track interactions to build case files, tap into third-party homelessness services and view data analytics reports.

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve called the app a “game-changer” and an “empowering” advance in the city’s efforts to reduce homelessness.

“This app will help us make more informed decisions directly with the community we’re serving and ensure resources are provided when they are needed most,” Schieve said in a press release.


The Wall Street Journal last year reported that the “Biggest Little City in the World” reduced its homeless population from 780 to 329 people — a 58% drop. This report, based on point-in-time head counts, was after in 2021 Reno partnered with the neighboring City of Sparks and surrounding Washoe County to build a Nevada Cares Campus, a community with sleeping pods and a giant tent that accommodates more than 600 people.

Dan Santangelo, ServiceNow’s field chief information officer, said in a press release that Reno’s new app aims to create a “comprehensive ecosystem” for connecting homeless people with needed services. The companies advertise that the app’s profile building tool and data analytics tools will enable outreach workers to quantify the impact of their efforts.

“This information helps the city quantify its impact on homelessness and identify areas where additional support and funding are needed,” the release reads.

According to the announcement, the city and its software vendors will continue developing the tool, including by adding additional integrations with third-party services. The announcement also teases the release of an additional app intended for use by homeless people living in Reno.

Colin Wood

Written by Colin Wood

Colin Wood is the editor in chief of StateScoop and EdScoop. He's reported on government information technology policy for more than a decade, on topics including cybersecurity, IT governance and public safety.

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