Recently, community action agencies have been assessing the way in which they deliver services to those in need of their assistance, The outcome: Human Service Infrastructure (H.S.I), a holistic approach to human services, there would be a determination by that qualification. But, life is never quite that simple. Simply correcting one problem does not help identify the underlying reasons that create the problem.
Now, when clients enter ABCD they are met by a counselor who does a pre-assessment. The client is required during the pre-assessment to answer a series of questions that then helps identify any areas where they might need additional support services. For example, a client may come in and request Energy Assistance.
Through the pre-assessment process it is determined that the client has a household with an adult male child who is currently unemployed. This identifies employment as another service needed by the client, they are then referred to the New Ventures department for pre-employment training if needed, and job search; in turn this may eventually eliminate the need for Energy assistance. This holistic approach is not needed by every client. There are still a percentage of clients that want or need Energy assistance and nothing else. In addition, some people have very stable lives, some catastrophic experience having caused the need for assistance.
James St. Paul director of H.S.I Operations sees it as a new way of doing business. A way to control the referrals throughout the agency: All services throughout the agency are under one umbrella to avoid duplication. There is one point of contact within or outside of the agency. The initial point of entry varies; many clients come through Early Learning. Another challenge facing the agency is the integration of technology and implementing a streamlined reporting system. This will help make the process seamless for the client. The goal is to promote continual movement of low-income people towards self-sufficiency.
This new approach allows the agency to provide better, more comprehensive services for itís clients, and ensures that the same client doesnít have a to return the next day through a different point of entry.
We are presently providing these following services to our clients. Rental assistance, food pantry voucher, furniture referrals, clothing referrals, translation/interpation services, notary public, state and other social service agencyís, referrals, employment career, and immigration counseling. To access our services clients needs to call and schedule an appointment at 203-338-0306.