AUSTIN (KXAN) — The City of Austin received a grant Wednesday to test a digital identity platform aimed at preventing and stopping homelessness.

The city’s Office of Innovation received a $409,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to further develop and test a concept called MyPass.

The city plans to explore how blockchain technology can help catalog identification documents which would make it easier for healthcare professionals to access social and health information.

The grant, which runs through July 2020, will allow the city to test the product on people who are experiencing homelessness. The test will allow people to permanently store, validate, and submit information needed to access health and social services.

Members of the Austin Blockchain Collective, Austin’s Homelessness Advisory Committee, and local social service providers created several components of the MyPass concept in 2018 during the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge.

What is blockchain technology?

Blockchain technology gathers transactions together into blocks, which are secured on the chain using cryptography.

It’s a distributed, transaction log. Many people can input entries into a record of information.

The chains of transactions are designed to be tamper-resistant and unchangeable over time.

Ideally, the security of the chain will create trust that the records are accurate and create an efficient catalog of information.

Companies can use it for a variety of actions such as money transactions and anti-virus. For example, with bitcoin, it’s used as a record of all transactions. According to, this technology can be applied to any need for a trustworthy system of record.