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

  • Hack Homelessness 2020

    Check out the event recordings below to see what happened during the 2020 edition of Hack Homelessness!

    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.

  • Our Mission

    In the Bay Area, one of the richest regions in the world, thousands of people are forced to live without shelter. A large proportion of them live on the streets of the Tenderloin, the neighborhood surrounding UC Hastings Law School. We would like to contribute our legal expertise and other resources to reduce homelessness in our city. LexLab, an innovation hub for emerging legal technologies out of UC Hastings Law, wants to explore how technology and design might be able to maximize the impact and accessibility of existing legal services for the homeless population.

  • Homelessness in San Francisco

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

    The number of people experiencing homelessness in San Francisco has become a crisis. Yet a solution to this crisis remains elusive, in part because the causes and determinants of homelessness are so varied and complex.

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

    There are currently a wide array of innovative programs that help those currently experiencing homelessness through legal 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 issues surrounding access to justice that people experiencing homelessness face. Hack Homelessness explores technological solutions that can streamline the process of getting off the streets.

  • What is Hack Homelessness?


    Design Thinking-Based Course Taught at UC Hastings Law

    Classes will be taught in conjunction with governmental and non-governmental homeless service providers, engineers and design thinkers. The course will delve into the issues that prevent the homeless population from accessing legal services. The group's findings will determine the issues to be tackled in the subsequent phases of the project.


    Virtual Design Challenge/Hackathon

    The challenges identified in the course will be 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 (November 8-13, 2020), with final presentations on November 14.


    White Paper

    To guide future implementation of our methods and solutions, we will publish a white paper that will present the findings generated by the course and the hackathon.

  • Get Involved!

    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

    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 homelessness, including eviction, zoning, stolen belongings, and NIMBYism, to a panel of judges on November 14. Register here.

    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.

  • 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 reduce homelessness?

    People who are at risk of becoming or are currently 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 the homeless population 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 will be a fun event 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 solve the homelessness crisis, we believe that the pooling of expertise and resources can provide solutions that can help individuals find their way off the streets.

    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 increase the accessibility of legal services for the homeless population in San Francisco. 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.