A recent Orlando Sentinel article highlighted a new project from Ability Housing, a nonprofit agency in Orlando, Florida using collaboration as a tool in the fight against homelessness. In April, the nonprofit announced a partnership with Orange County and the Florida Hospital and Wayne Densch Charities, to build 77 affordable and supportive housing units to support homeless individuals, using grant funding, tax credits, and municipal and state funds. Andrae Bailey, CEO of the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, said the housing will be "a lifeline to those who have been on the streets for years."
Successful collaborations like this are happening across the country. The Community Builders, Inc. (TCB) is a national nonprofit fighting homelessness in a number of areas. Their partnerships with universities, hospitals, business owners and other local stakeholders have borne fruit in the form of funding. That funding has improved the housing situation and homeless rates in cities across the United States. As a nonprofit real estate developer, TCB has over 11,000 apartments that it either owns or manages. They use these resources to further their mission of building and sustaining strong communities where people of all incomes can achieve their full potential.
TCB stresses coordination and collaboration with local stakeholders. Their Community Life initiative builds strategic partnerships to create opportunities for youth development, education, workforce development, and asset building.
Part of TCB’s role is to responsibly manage data regarding these communities and their residents. In order to more effectively strategize on the best way to meet the needs of their residents, they employ the Efforts to Outcomes® (ETO) data management system. Using ETO software enables TCB to coordinate with multiple partners and continue to grow exponentially. TCB staff has been able to use the ETO software to track how residents are using services and adjust services that were ineffective. Using the ETO software has improved internal communications as well as communications with community partners almost immediately.
The combination of better, more comprehensive data, enhanced communication, and easier data entry and reporting has given TCB the power to grow and improve. The upgrade to ETO software has allowed the TCB staff to become more efficient, which translates into more effective interactions with residents and better outcomes. Efficiency was enhanced for all TCB’s community partners; with everyone sharing data through ETO, the precious time spent gathering redundant information was saved.
TCB has been able to integrate their ETO data management system with several outside systems, thereby eliminating the need for duplicative data entry. This integration also enhances the quality and the scope of their data.
“Prior to ETO software, reporting was a challenge,” Marci Baeckeroot, a program analyst for TCB, said. “We could enter data, but we couldn’t get it back out. Now we have a system from which we can easily pull data back out, which has been very exciting for our staff.”
ETO has helped TCB with strategic planning and reporting as well, according to Baeckeroot.
“Data is helping staff strategically think about their next interaction with residents, and it’s helping us as an organization think strategically about our partnerships and improving opportunities for residents.”
Whether your organization’s mission is ending homelessness or solving another social ill, Social Solutions can customize a data management software program to help you be more effective and efficient. The improved outcomes, easier reporting, and painless data sharing will make you more attractive to potential collaborative partners, as well as to potential funders. Please contact one of our solutions specialists for a demonstration of how our ETO software can be customized to meet your agency’s needs or take our interactive quiz to find out which solution is right for you.