Unifying a city in service to families is no small task—and today’s economic climate and limited resources are making this challenge one that ministries and churches wrestle with daily. Avoiding service duplication, stewarding donated resource, and most importantly, moving families toward healthy self-sufficient lifestyles are critical components of a comprehensive city-wide approach to the issues of poverty.
Shared Case Management systems can facilitate collaboration in how ministries and churches help families, but only if many agencies and churches will use the same system. For example, churches do not typically have the budget to purchase case management systems nor the time to enter all of the data required by most of them. So Meet The Need developed a best-practice Shared Case Management platform that is now available at no cost to agencies and churches. Meet The Need does not require much data entry so that churches and ministries alike can be on a common platform.
Tampa Bay, Florida: A Region United
Tampa, Florida is no different than most mid-sized U.S. cities. Ten percent of the 2,400,000 people that make up the Greater Tampa Bay area are unemployed. Churches and nonprofits who are ‘in the trenches’ serving the poor are constantly burdened with the reality that the ‘line at the front door’ is longer than the ‘food in the pantry.’ Meet The Need has provided a unique resource to help ministries and churches throughout the Tampa Bay area address this issue and quickly share information to make better decisions about how to have the greatest impact on the community and in each family’s life.
- equipping over 40 local churches to register families and distribute food and toys
- engaging local public school teachers and guidance counselors to schedule children to receive food and toys
- hosting a multitude of registration locations and local ministries within a three-county radius staffed by volunteers all using Meet The Need
- jointly scheduling families on shared, access-controlled calendars to receive gifts at specific dates, times and locations
Using a shared platform across all those sites and organizations ensured that the same families are not booked to receive items at multiple locations. It also allocates families across various sites and time based on the number of volunteers available to distribute items and the number of items available to distribute. So there is no overbooking at various times and locations. Bar-coded sheets printed out through Meet The Need’s system are handed to each family, helping make sure everyone comes to the right location at the right time and make “check in” very easy for staff.
Learn How You Can Do The Same!
At a very real and practical level, Meet The Need brings hope and help to people like Michelle. Michelle has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and approached her church with a request for some basic furniture items for her home and children. Michelle’s church was able to post her furniture need, and at the same time schedule her children to receive toys during the Toys for Tots drive coming up at Christmas.
- empower schools, churches, & agencies to schedule families for multiple sites
- give toys to families more efficiently at multiple locations
- connect with local organizations and churches that also give out toys to ensure that duplication of giving is decreased so more families in need can be blessed
“Meet The Need has allowed us to expand registration, be more efficient and cost effective, and most importantly, cross check all applicants against the database to prevent double dipping and send those most in need to another local ministry where they can be better served.” Toys for Tots Tampa Bay
In addition, in the webinar we walk you through the best practices of how to use Meet The Need to:
- search and enter families you are helping
- post needs for those families and share with your members/volunteers
- record what you have given to families in need
- schedule families to come back at a future date to receive goods/services (toys, food, etc.)
- check-in families the day of your event
- manage family reports
- October Webinar – Case Management and Family Scheduling for the Holidays
- FREE ebook – 5 Pitfalls of Shared Case Management
- FREE ebook – Collaborative Family Scheduling
- Meet The Need – www.meettheneed.org
Authors: Jim Morgan and Tonya Nichols