A three-part initiative sponsored by LexLab at UC Hastings Law

    October 30 - November 6

  • What is Hack Homelessness?


    Design Thinking-Based Course Taught at UC Hastings Law

    Classes were taught in conjunction with governmental and non-governmental homeless service providers, housing policy advocates, engineers and design thinkers. The course did a dive deep into the legal issues driving housing insecurity in the Bay Area, which included insufficient tenant protections, a lack of affordable housing, and limited access to supportive services.


    Virtual Design Challenge/Hackathon

    The challenges identified in the course were tackled by teams of lawyers, developers, designers, builders and thinkers with the objective of finding a technology and design solution for each challenge over the course of a week (October 30 - November 6, 2021), with final presentations held on November 6.


    White Paper

    See the lessons learned from the 2020 Hackathon here.

  • Housing Insecurity in the Bay Area

    San Francisco, one of the richest cities in the world, has over 8,000 residents living on the streets

    The number of people experiencing housing insecurity in the Bay Area has increased. Yet a solution to this crisis remains elusive, in part because the causes and determinants housing insecurity are so varied and complex.

    Increased access to support services can help to immediately reduce human suffering

    There are currently a wide array of innovative programs that help those currently experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness access support services across the Bay Area. Hack Homelessness aims to maximize the impact of these programs.

    Technology and design can maximize the impact and accessibility of existing legal resources

    Our interdisciplinary initiative addresses the root causes of housing insecurity that affect the Bay Area. Hack Homelessness explores technological solutions that can better facilitate access to tenants rights services, support services, and affordable housing.

  • Our Mission

    In the Bay Area, one of the richest regions in the world, thousands of people struggle with housing insecurity. Many of the most vulnerable live without shelter in the Tenderloin, the neighborhood surrounding UC Hastings Law School. We would like to contribute our legal expertise and other resources to address the issue of housing insecurity in the Bay Area. Hack Homelessness will bring together lawyers, developers, designers, builders and thinkers with the objective of finding technology solutions to some of the most pressing legal issues driving housing insecurity in the Bay Area, including insufficient tenant protections, a lack of affordable housing, and limited access to support services.

  • Get Involved!

    broken image

    Our expertise in the intersection of law, technology and design is what LexLab at UC Hastings can bring to the table. Will you bring your enthusiasm, expertise, or resources and join us?

    To participate in the Hackathon, sign up here.

    broken image

    Attend the Showcase

    Interested to see how our teams spend the week innovating? Watch them present their solutions to a variety of legal issues related to housing insecurity, including eviction, zoning, insufficient tenant protections, and access to support service to a panel of judges on November 6. Register here.

    broken image

    Become a Sponsor

    Our event presents an excellent opportunity to create social impact and positive change for one of the Bay Area's most pressing issues. Send us an email at info@hackhomelessness.org.

  • Hack Homelessness 2020

    What can I expect from the Hackathon? Check out these recordings of HH 2020 to get an idea!

    Hack Homelessness Opening Session

    November 8, 2020

    To kick off the 2020 edition of the Hack Homelessness design challenge, the LexLab team hosted an opening session to introduce the hackathon, describe the resources and mentorship available throughout the week, and begin the team formation process. UC Hastings students led breakout room discussions in four broad topic areas: eviction, NIMBYism, stolen belongings, and zoning.

    Hack Homelessness Design Challenge Showcase

    November 14, 2020

    Six teams from Hack Homelessness 2020 presented the solutions that they had been creating throughout the entire week in front of a panel of four judges. Before the final presentations, LexLab hosted a Keynote and Q&A Session with Justice Louis Mauro, Associate Justice on the Third District Court of Appeal and Chair of the Work Group on Homelessness.

    broken image

    Lessons Learned from 2020

    Read the White Paper to learn more about Hack Homelessness

    Read the White Paper here!

  • FAQs

    What is a hackathon?

    A hackathon is a mental marathon where programmers, designers, builders, and other innovators come together to learn, build and share their ideas over the course of a few days. Hackathons are not limited to developers -- LexLab's hackathon is open to anyone with an interest in helping the homeless population of San Francisco and an eagerness to learn and contribute.

    How can increased legal services address housing insecurity?

    People who who are housing insecure, or homeless, as well as those who are attempting to exit homelessness, face a wide variety of legal needs: from representation in housing court to navigating the process of waiving accumulated fines. However, there is often a gap between the legal needs of these vulnerable populations and the legal services they are able to access. LexLab aims to develop new ways to bridge that gap through technology and design.

    How can a hackathon help to solve these problems?

    Hack Homelessness is designed to break disciplinary boundaries and inspire new ideas to tackle barriers to access to justice for the homeless population. While we understand there are no silver bullets to address housing insecurity, we believe that the pooling of expertise and resources can provide solutions that can help individuals who are currently experiencing housing insecurity and homelessness.

    Why LexLab?

    LexLab is an innovation hub for emerging technologies out of UC Hastings Law. We teach students about law, technology and design, operate a legal tech accelerator and host regular relevant and engaging events that are open to our entire community. LexLab has a proven track record of supporting technology and design in the legal sphere to great success, and as such, has already created a large network of technologists, lawyers and other innovators to tap into this project.

    What can I do to help?

    • Join the hackathon: bring your expertise to the table and work as part of a small, dynamic team to think of creative solutions to housing insecurity in the Bay Area. Sign up for the hackathon and RSVP for the showcase.
    • Become a Sponsor: Our event presents an excellent opportunity to create social impact and positive change for one of the Bay Area's most pressing issues. Additionally, as a public institution, all donations made to UC Hastings are tax-deductible. Send us an email at info@hackhomelessness.org to see how your organization can support this project. 
  • Code of Conduct

    Hack Homelessness is dedicated to providing a harassment-free conference experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age or religion]. We do not tolerate harassment of conference participants in any form. Conference participants violating these rules may be sanctioned or expelled from the conference at the discretion of the conference organizers.