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New technologies—new collaborations

West’s Seasonal Assistance program adopted by more service providers.

 By Robert Freeman

The Seasonal Assistance program—cutting-edge technology developed by The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Information Technology (IT) department—allows service providers to collaborate with each other, ensuring that assistance is not duplicated and thereby enabling them to help more families.

The software, developed for use by other agencies that offer seasonal assistance to work with software used by Salvation Army sites, ensures that an applicant household will receive assistance from just one group—allowing the agencies to collectively serve more people in need.

The Salt Lake City Corps Community Center in Utah has collaborations with 12 service providers. “It is a great way for the community to get together and assist more people by working together,” said Major Richard Greene, corps officer. “The program is very easy to use by the other agencies.”

Service providers receive software that restricts them from viewing any of the confidential information of Salvation Army clients, and have separate handbooks, login accounts and training.

“We have used this program in Ogden [which has 27 collaborations]and now here in Salt Lake City,” Greene said. “Of course, it is hard to get people to trust us and use our program, but when they do, it appears they love it.”

Although the Seasonal Assistance software is widely used at Salvation Army sites throughout the territory, there are more non-Salvation Army programs set up with their version of the software than Salvation Army units—from a Rotary Club in Tualatin, Ore., to Catholic Charities in Nampa, Idaho, to the U.S. Marines in Yakima, Wash., to the Sheriff’s Department in Sacramento, Calif.

“The experience of working with outside partner agencies and the Christmas software application has been positive,” said Beth Kennard, director of Family Services in Vancouver, Wash., whose program already has collaborations with 12 service providers. “I am looking forward to having another training this year and hoping that a couple more agencies jump on board.”

In many parts of the Western Territory, The Salvation Army now serves as the de facto lead agency during the holiday season and we have the technology to facilitate it.

Salvation Army corps and units: for more information regarding the Seasonal Assistance program, please submit a ticket to the Service Desk.

 

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