Everyone deserves a place they can call home. It’s why you and your staff work so hard to lift your participants out of the darkest moments of their lives and set them on a path to independence and stability.
If you’re helping put a roof over heads, you are also thinking about the long-term needs: the programs and services that will lead your participants to self-sufficiency. On top of basic reporting and security needs, you need a way to elevate your services to address the increasing demand; a system that allows you to partner with other organizations and programs; and the ability to measure and show your impact.
Now is the time to invest in the right technology that better empowers you to serve people in need and reduce homelessness in your community. In this blog, we’re going to cover some of the things you should keep in mind as you explore software to support your housing and homelessness organization.
If you lead a housing and homelessness organization, you have to meet the regulatory requirements necessary in order to get critical funding your services depend on. When you work with software like that of Social Solutions, you can rest easy knowing that your technology was specifically built with organizations like yours in mind.
Social Solutions’ Apricot software has reporting tools that help Continuum of Care (CoC) organizations and Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) grantees with dashboard insights, ad-hoc reporting, and data warehousing for Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-required reporting. Integrated data warehousing through Apricot also includes all the required HUD HMIS reports.
Apricot is designed and managed to maintain compliance with industry standards, so you can spend your time focusing on what matters — your mission.
If you don’t have efficiencies set in place, demand can seem to outweigh the capacity at your housing and homelessness organization. While that’s something most organizations seem to deal with, housing organizations in particular serve participants who are chronically homeless and often need repeat or longer-term assistance. That means your list of participants just grows and grows.
When you’re looking at technology for your organization, you want to ensure you’re getting time-saving tools such as digital intake in Apricot. This feature allows staff members to digitally upload relevant participant information directly into a centralized, secure database viewable by teammates and across departments — making spreadsheets and paper a thing of the past at your organization. You can also allow your participants to sign in and fill out all the necessary paperwork themselves.
Digital intake, along with other features outlined in our eGuide for housing and homelessness organizations, have allowed organizations to deliver 3.3 times more services as a result of efficiencies gained after onboarding Apricot. In fact, Local Investment Commission, a Social Solutions customer, saved 85 days’ worth of time with one online intake form.
Another key element in boosting services is ensuring your organization has a robust referrals program. While a person’s immediate need may be a bed to sleep in, there are typically other needs — and other programs your staff may refer participants to — to provide them with the holistic care they need to lead an independent and sustainable life. Without a centralized location for data, it’s easier for important participant information to get lost in the shuffle, which means they may not get the comprehensive care they need.
Closed Loop Referrals, an Apricot feature available in select regions, allows housing and homelessness organizations to further coordinate care in their communities. This capability allows community-based organizations (CBOs) to search for partners, make referrals, and collaborate with other organizations to ensure participants get the care they need. Not only does this tool allow participating organizations to coordinate care, but it enables organizations to share data and measure impact at the community level.
Beyond the required reports housing and homelessness organizations must prepare in order to acquire funding, it’s also essential to be able to measure and demonstrate your organization’s impact at the program level and the community level. This reporting functionality gives you the insight you need to optimize processes over time to provide the best services to your participants at every stage of their journey.
When choosing technology for your organization, you’ll want features like Apricot’s reporting tools, dashboards, and insights to help you make data-based decisions to transform your services in real-time.
Here, we gave you a high-level overview of what you should be looking for in tech in order to revolutionize your housing and homelessness organization. Download our eGuide today to dive deeper and learn directly from organizations like yours how Social Solutions has enabled them to put a roof over more heads.
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