The Aunt Bertha Blog

Emily Storozuk

Emily Storozuk

Recent Posts by Emily Storozuk:

Announcing Appointment Scheduling

We always begin team meetings at Aunt Bertha with our mission statement--"To connect all people in need and the programs that serve them (with dignity and ease)." As part of that mission, we strive to build products that help community based organizations streamline their processes, work together, and most importantly, save time so they can better meet the needs of the people they serve.

We consistently heard from program administrators that they lacked insight into their teammate's schedules and consequently ended up double (or triple) booking intake appointments more often than not. This left helping professionals at these organizations overworked and people in need confused on what was next. We believed there was a better way.  

It's with that belief in mind that we bring you Appointment Scheduling 

The Appointment Scheduling tool offers a way for claimed community based organizations listed on Aunt Bertha to easily create, schedule, and manage appointments with people in need of services as a key step in their intake process. Managing appointments can be stressful (on both sides), time consuming, and expensive. Our tool is free and simple to use. 


 

 Community Based Organizations will save time, resources, and can:

  • Benefit from a full history of their work with a person in need, including appointments, all on one platform. 
  • Easily show availability for appointments at your program location(s)
  • Book appointments on behalf of people in need, or allow them to book for themselves
  • Schedule appointments for colleagues 
  • Save calendar invites to colleagues' work calendars

People In Need get the dignity of an immediate response and can:

  • Easily see when and where their appointment is
  • See what documents or identification they'll need to bring to their appointment
  • Get reminders via email or text message so they never miss an important appointment. 

Interested in adding appointment scheduling to your program listings on Aunt Bertha? We're so glad! Just click below and our team will get you set up. Reminder: Appointment Scheduling is a completely free feature--all you have to do is claim your program listing

Learn more

As always, we'd love your feedback on this, and all features on Aunt Bertha. Send your thoughts to community@auntbertha.com.

 

Topics: Social Work non-profit tech non-profit new features helping people find services Social Workers Social Services community needs

From Homes to Horses: How Service Providers Made a Difference in 2017

One of our mottos here at Aunt Bertha is a quote by Margaret Mead that reads, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."  In that spirit and in honor of the New Year, we’re highlighting six of our direct service providers' powerful missions and showcasing how they were there for their communities in 2017.  These are the people whose work fuels ours, and we hope their stories inspire you as we begin 2018. 

Combatting Homelessness

"Most Americans are 1-2 paychecks from living on the street. It can happen to anyone" --Roz Palmer, The Kitchen, Springfield, MO. 

On any given night in 2017, 554,000 people¹ were experiencing homelessness in the United States. That's just shy of the entire population of Springfield, MO, where The Kitchen's mission is to prevent and end homelessness in the communities they serve by providing housing and stabilizing services with dignity and compassion.

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"We're trying to let people know that they are worthy of the help. Youth, or those living on the street sometimes don’t feel they’re worth the services, so our biggest challenge is just getting them in the door. We want people to know we work with everyone--from infants to the elderly. If you’re homeless, we work with you. We have youth programs, programs for at-risk and homeless veterans, programs fro the chronically homeless, families, and the working poor," said Roz Palmer, Community Development Manager at The Kitchen.

In 2017, The Kitchen housed more than 600 individuals. One third of those individuals being children under the age of 18.

One of those people was Belinda. Belinda was a registered medical assistant, but due to a brain injury, she was placed on leave from her job. Her FMLA ran out, but Belinda still wasn’t cleared to work. After going through her savings, Belinda had to decide between her medication and a stable home. The Kitchen was able to provide Belinda a place to stay while helping her navigate through and apply for, disability benefits. She has since exited the program and is living on her own in one of The Kitchen's affordable housing communities. 

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"We have a Housing First philosophy. We want to place someone in a home, then figure out the factors that may be leading to their homelessness.  For some it may mean education, for some, sobriety.  Our goal is that by the time they exit, they can can do whatever "it" is on their own." 

How You Can Help

  1. Support efforts with a financial donation.
  2. Donate furniture and household items, click here for a full list of needs.
  3. Volunteer! Sign up here.

Breaking Down Barriers 

"BOSS believes that people affected by crisis have invaluable knowledge and insight about what works to change lives, so we hire from our target population; at least 40% of BOSS staff have personal experience with homelessness, disabilities, substance abuse or criminal justice systems"--Sonja Fitz, Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS), Berekely, CA.

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Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)'s mission is to help those who are mentally ill, struggling with substance abuse, formerly incarcerated or otherwise homeless achieve health and self-sufficiency, and to fight against the root causes of poverty and homelessness.

"We serve the very poor - people with one or more barriers to self-sufficiency, such as former incarceration, mental illness, substance abuse issues, inter-generational poverty, or lack of job skills and/or literacy. There are more people on the streets, more homeless encampments, and little-to-no housing that is affordable on very low incomes. Also, there are hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals being released to communities in California due to AB 109 and they need help finding jobs and connecting with positive social supports quickly, before they can recidivate." said Sonja Fitz, Director of Development and Marketing at BOSS. 

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One of the ways BOSS tackled these issues in 2017 was by expanding their workforce development program (the Career Training and Employment Center), partnering with employers who were willing to take a risk on job seekers who needed a second chance. In October, the organization celebrated 50 graduates, all employed full-time.

How You Can Help

  1. Contact your elected officials (especially if you live in California) and tell them that affordable housing for everyone matters to you. 
  2. Support efforts with a financial donation.

Rebuilding Homes and Hope

In 2018, we plan to complete over 200 Harvey homes, maybe even more, but we're still going to continue to repair homes that were not impacted by Harvey, because we have people on our waiting list and we're not going to let them go. We're here for the long haul and will continue to take care of the populations we always have and serve the neighbors we always have"--Christine Holland,  CEO/Executive Director, Rebuilding Together Houston, Houston, TX.

In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas' east coast. In the Houston metropolitan area specifically, widespread flooding damaged property and took lives. Prior to the storm, Rebuilding Together Houston was already providing no-cost home repair to low-income senior citizens, U.S. military veterans and people with disabilities, focused predominately on the exteriors of homes. Things like: replacing siding, making sure doors and windows were working properly, controlling water leaks, and adding ramps and railings to improve accessibility. rebuilding 3.jpg

"When Harvey happened, we knew that we needed to widen our lane. Normally, we wouldn't get involved in repairing a home until it was pretty much put back together and we would work on the outside, but we realized that that just wasn't going to cut it here", said Christine Holland, CEO and Executive Director of Rebuilding Together Houston. 

"It's been very difficult for anyone impacted by Harvey to begin the process of recovery. For vulnerable populations, its even more so. Very quickly, we got together to plan our response. We knew we needed to help our homeowners in a different kind of way, so we started our "Home After Harvey" program. We're still focusing on the same neighbors that we were before, but now we're working with contractors and volunteer teams to return the interior of the homes impacted by Harvey to a safe and livable condition."

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The New Orleans affiliate of Rebuilding Together came to Houston following the storm and took several days to teach the Houston staff how to muck and gut and take the house down to the studs.  Now though, Rebuilding Together Houston is starting to move into the recovery phase, putting the homes back together. In 2017, the non-profit began recovery work in more than 25 homes, beginning to return them to a safe and livable condition. That number is estimated to be 200 or more in 2018.

rebuilding 4.jpgWhen asked what the organization's biggest "win" in 2017 was, Ms. Holland instantly said, "Neighbors helping neighbors all over this city, and coming from everywhere. There's been an incredible outpouring of resources, funds, and building materials that gave our organization the confidence to jump in and help right away without worrying how we were going to fund it."

She added, "There are thousands and thousands of Houstonians who have been impacted by Harvey and it's going to take us years to get this done. Rebuilding Together Houston expects to be in the thick of this for 4 or 5 years. I think what's going to get harder in the years ahead is the awareness of what's happening here. Now, people are very engaged. In two years from now, we hope that's the same story."

How You Can Help

  1. VolunteerSkilled volunteers are needed for carpentry, drywall and painting, but Rebuilding Together Houston staff will also teach skills to anyone who is willing. 
  2. Support rebuilding efforts with a financial donation.

Standing with Women and Immigrants

Overall, our biggest wins are our client victories -- numerous cases where the work of Her Justice, our network of volunteer lawyers, and the resilience of our clients have resulted in positive outcomes and life altering consequences for the women we serve"--Sharon Rainey, Director of Communications, Her Justice, New York, New York.

In the current political climate, the threat of deportation of undocumented immigrants has spread panic in vulnerable communities. Many immigrants are afraid to reach out for help, or engage with the courts or law enforcement. Her Justice stands with women living in poverty in New York City by recruiting and mentoring volunteer lawyers to provide free legal help, and by addressing individual and systemic legal barriers. At a time when there are simply not enough lawyers to meet the demand, Her Justice fills a unique gap in NYC – providing legal assistance to women living in poverty facing high-stakes legal needs, who cannot get help elsewhere.

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"We serve women in all five boroughs in NYC, with the majority of our clients residing in Queens.  Brooklyn is a close second. More than one out of every four Her Justice clients cannot access the legal system without an interpreter" said Sharon Rainey, Director of Communications at Her Justice. 64% of Her Justice clients are mothers and 80% are survivors of domestic violence.

In 2017, their goal could be summed up simply: Expand access to the legal system in family, matrimonial and immigration matters for more women living in poverty in NYCAccomplishing it, however, was no simple task. To reach more women in need, Her Justice relaunched their live Legal Help Line, increased outreach into communities to provide information on immigrant rights under the Trump administration, celebrated the one-year anniversary of their Urgent Legal Care Project, where women with high-stakes legal needs obtain immediate representation or services, and launched an innovative medical-legal partnership with NYU Langone Hospital to help medical professionals identify victims of intimate partner violence.

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All in all, nearly 8,000 women and children living in poverty received free legal help thanks to Her Justice. The organizations "pro bono first" model where volunteer attorneys are trained and mentored  to provide free legal help in family, matrimonial and immigration matters to clients efficiently "brings the power of the private bar to serve some of the City’s most vulnerable women and children," said Rainey.

How You Can Help

  1. Support efforts with a financial donation.
  2. Volunteer.

Mental Health and...Horses?

Most people don't realize that horses are effective therapy animals beyond therapeutic riding, and are not aware of the vast differences between therapeutic riding and what Project Horse offers (equine assisted psychotherapy and wellness)," Emily Williams, Marketing Manager, Project Horse Empowerment Center, Purcellville, VA.

Project Horse Empowerment Center connects people in need of renewed hope and confidence with rehabilitated rescue horses, through innovative experiential learning programs and therapy services. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for both horses and humans, creating a unique community of mutual healing and benefit.Reeses3.jpg

It all started with a rescue horse named Reeses. Reeses used to be a competitive athlete but her career ended with a dangerous fall. For reasons unknown to Project Horse, Reeses did not receive proper medical care and rehabilitation, leaving her physically disabled and no longer able to be ridden. Reeses was then sent to a breeding farm to be a broodmare, but when that didn’t produce results, she was deemed useless, turned out into a field, and forgotten.

Reeses was frightened and in very poor condition when the organization’s founder and Executive Director, Darcy Woessner, stumbled upon her. Reeses was not in sale condition and would never again be a riding horse, which left her in a dangerous situation. Darcy simply could not leave the horse there, so she purchased Reeses for a small price and began the slow rehabilitation process.

Reeses soon revealed an extraordinary ability to connect deeply with others, especially children and women. It quickly became apparent that, although Reeses could no longer be ridden, she had so much to offer through her quiet wisdom and nurturing support. Since no other programs existed where non-rideable horses could share their skills to help people, Reeses and Darcy founded Project Horse: a place where non-riding horses and humans needing support partner to find hope and mutual healing.

Over the past decade, Reeses and her herd have rescued, supported, and helped over 1,000 individuals, of all ages and with a wide variety of challenges. 

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"Most people don't realize that horses are effective therapy animals beyond therapeutic riding, and are not aware of the vast differences between therapeutic riding and what Project Horse offers (equine assisted psychotherapy and wellness),  said Emily William, Marketing Manager at Project Horse. 

We recently moved to a new location (late in 2016) that is more accessible, so we have been expanding our programming to include groups for veterans, the elderly, programs through Loudoun County Parks and Recreation, as well as servicing a growing number of individual therapy clients." 

A highlight for the organization in 2017? Being one of only 18 nonprofits in the United States to ServiceVisit.jpgreceive a grant from VetsAid Foundation.  With the grant from VetsAid, and a matching corporate sponsorship from Lockheed Martin, Project Horse was able to launch our Warrior HerdTM initiative.

Warrior HerdTM is a free monthly program that focuses on strengthening connections between veterans and their families and enhancing resiliency. Warrior HerdTM offers workshops for couples, individuals, and families. During summer 2018, Project Horse will host a Warrior HerdTM Family Day for all members of the military (active, inactive, veterans, reservists) and their families. They will also hold a week long summer camp for children who have lost a parent in combat. 

Project Horse has seen the demand for individual therapy services nearly double this past year. 

How You Can Help

  1. Support efforts with a financial donation.
  2. Sponsor a Horse
  3. Volunteer 
  4. Spread the word and make referrals! (especially to veterans for Project Horse's free Warrior HerdTM programs)

Note: Due to a growth, Reeses, the equine founder of Project Horse, had surgery to remove her left eye in November. Reeses did very well through surgery and the loss of her eye has only strengthened her exceptional ability as a therapy horse. 


Re-Entry with Dignity 

The ultimate objective--beyond the measurable goals--is to help participants rebuild their sense of self-worth, dignity, and self-confidence."--Austin Morreale, Service Director, NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services, Highland Park, New Jersey

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Created by the youth pastor at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, NeighborCorps 
Re-Entry Services' mission is to work with individuals who are incarcerated (or who have been previously incarcerated) in Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center (MCACC), helping them successfully transition back to their communities, thereby helping lower the rate of recidivism.
 
"In addition to the NeighborCorps staff, we utilize volunteers (called Navigators) to work with our participants. Our staff and Navigators provide support and guidance to the participants (and their supportive relatives and friends) along their re-entry journey, connecting them with community resources and helping them in the areas of gainful employment, personal development, and social integration. The ultimate objective--beyond the measurable goals--is to help participants rebuild their sense of self-worth, dignity, and self-confidence," said Austin Morreale, Service Director at NeighorCorps. 
 
The two biggest challenges NeighborCorps faces in their work: connecting participants to housing and employment. As Morreale explained, "unless a participant has supportive friends or family in the area with whom they can stay, it is incredibly difficult to find housing for participants given the lack of shelters in the area and the long waiting lists for those shelters."
 
Additionally, "finding employers who will hire individuals with criminal histories is difficult, and when such an employer is found, securing a livable wage can be challenging. A large percentage of our participants are dependent on public transportation, but often the employers who hire ex-offenders aren't easily accessible via public transportation. Or, if they are accessible, the participants find the cost of public transportation to their place of employment quickly eats up their hourly wage."
 
After adding additional staff members in 2017, Morreale said, "I think one of the things I'm proudest of [this year] is the steps we've taken on initiatives outside of the relationships with participants." 
 
One such initiative, a backpack drive for NeighborCorps participants, will extend to all individuals in the jail if it is successful. 
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As Morreale explained, "when an individual is released from MCACC, the belongings they had with 
them when they arrived at the jail are given back to them in a clear plastic bag. If that individual doesn't have someone picking them up from jail on their release day, then they have to walk along Route 130 with the plastic bag clearly signaling they've just left incarceration to anyone who passes them. The backpack drive is a way to remove the stigma of the plastic bag for recently released individuals and hopefully give them a little bit of their dignity back as they take their first steps (literally) in their re-entry journey."
 
How You Can Help
1. Become a Navigator! Learn more here
2. Support efforts with a financial donation.
3. Educate yourself about criminal justice and re-entry issues and how their effects have an impact that reaches far beyond just the incarcerated individual. 
 
 

¹http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/12/the-number-of-homeless-people-in-america-increased-for-the-first-time-in-7-years/ 

Topics: social good non profits Social Services access to social services 2017 2018 year in review

How Former Phone Booths Helped New Yorkers Find Housing (and more) in 2017

In 2015, the City of New York and CityBridge turned hundreds of old phone booth locations into touch screen kiosks with high speed wifi for people in the 5 boroughs to use for free. Beginning in April 2017, Aunt Bertha partnered with the LinkNYC team to connect kiosk users with an easy way to search for social services using an in-kiosk app. 

In just 9 short months, the Aunt Bertha LinkNYC app has been used over 90,000 times, helping tens of thousands of people across the city find and connect with social service providers.

We see searches late at night, and on the weekends--for housing, food, medical care, and much more. We see people in need connecting to some of New York's amazing non-profits and government agencies. We're seeing all of this from our offices here in Austin, Texas, but as 2017 comes to a close, our team put together some data to share with you: LinkNYC and Aunt Bertha, by the numbers (see below). 

We are inspired by the usage and connections happening in New York, and are eager to keep working in the new year to make sure that anyone, anywhere can find and connect to programs that can help them.

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Aunt Bertha Makes Connecting Patients and Members to Social Programs Easier with Epic

Most people don't realize this, but chances are high that you have a current electronic health record on Epic, because 190 million people, or over half of Americans, do! 
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 Today, a patient's health is determined by more than just their medical needs and hospital executives are noticing. An increased number of health systems are recognizing non-medical needs like housing, food, and transportation to be as important to a patient's overall health as a visit to the doctor's office. This was evidenced by a 2016 survey conducted in partership with GLG Social Impact, where we found that 94% of respondents indicated it is important or very important to connect patients with social programs. 
 
Epic, one of the largest electronic health records (EHR) companies, recently launched App Orchard, a way for third-party applications to integrate with the EHR system used by Health Systems across the country. In October, Aunt Bertha launched an application in the Epic's App Orchard which makes finding and connecting patients to social services seamless for health care professionals. 
 
What's an EHR? Epic stories the info about you and your doctors visits for hospitals and other clients. This is called your electronic health record (EHR).  And now, hospitals can help you connect with social services with the info in your electronic health record.
 
 
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Leveraging Aunt Bertha, Epic users can gain instant access to comprehensive, localized listings with hundreds of programs in every ZIP code in the United States and close the loop on referrals that are made. Epic community members can leverage Aunt Bertha content to deepen their understanding of the needs faced by the communities they serve.  
 
“Whether it’s access to food, transportation, financial services or education, addressing social determinants is a critical component of both quality of care and quality of life. Aunt Bertha is deploying this comprehensive approach, powered by technology, to help lead the way for patients in need and the people who serve them."
 
--Alan Hutchison, Vice President of Population Health, Epic.
 

Our team was incentivized to integrate with Epic so we could reach more people where they are and connect them to service. Think you can put Aunt Bertha to work for your patients? Learn more here and...

 LET'S CHAT

Topics: Health Social Services health care hospitals app ehr Epic

Provider Spotlight Series: A Q&A with Step Up For Mental Health

" I know what it’s like not to know where to turn and I want us to provide resources that empower people to  “step up” and care for both the person in their life dealing with mental health-related issues as well as their own well-being."--Adrienne McCue, Step Up For Mental Health 

As Aunt Bertha launches our Provider Package, making new features and how-to content available to providers who have claimed their listings, we bring you The Provider Spotlight Series--a group of blog postings aimed at showcasing the remarkable work a variety of providers are doing in their communities and the ways in which they are using Aunt Bertha to help them.

We spoke with Adrienne McCue, President and Executive Director at Step Up For Mental Health (formerly AJW Foundation), about how the Chicago-based organization is using Aunt Bertha as a tool to support their work of providing resources not only to those affected by mental health-related issues, but to their families and caregivers as well. 


AB: In a few sentences, what is the mission of your organization and what kinds of services do you offer to advance your mission?

sufmh_logo_web_1080.pngSUFMH: While our name used to be different, our mission hasn’t changed. We simply wanted our name to reflect on exactly the work we are trying to do as an organization. Step Up For Mental Health’s mission is to support, educate and provide services to empower families living with the challenges of mental health disorders. We believe that mental health issues impact social issues including education, homelessness and poverty. Step Up For Mental Health strives to match families with resources to help move them toward a more productive life. There’s a huge stigma attached to mental health issues and we want to work to end that stigma.

On a personal note, I was a caregiver for my mother [for many years growing up] who suffered from schizophrenia until her death in 2012. I know what it’s like not to know where to turn and I want us to provide resources that empower people to  “step up” and care for both the person in their life dealing with mental health-related issues as well as their own well-being.

AB: How do people learn about your programs?

SUFMH: At the moment, mostly through word of mouth and social media. We recently listed our programs on Aunt Bertha and are now encouraging people to connect with us there as well! 

AB: What challenges have you faced in the past in finding people for your programs?

SUFMH: Because we are an emerging non-profit and just went through a name change, we had to figure out how to let the community know about Step Up For Mental Health as a resource. We have recently been getting alot of traction, which is great. 

AB: How does Aunt Bertha work as a tool to help you find and connect with people interested in your programs?

SUFMH: Lisiting our programs on Aunt Bertha has given us the opportunity to grow our reach and connect with more people in need in Chicagoland. The ability to update each program's description and other information really helps people understand what we do and how we can help them and their families. 

 AB: Are there any other ways you use or plan to use Aunt Bertha in your work?

SUFMH: We love Aunt Bertha!  We learned about [the platform] through a webinar and before our programs were even listed, we began using the site to refer people who had called in for mental health related services, but who also needed other services.

unnamed.jpgMental health is more than just “I need housing”. It's “I can’t get out of bed”.  We give people the option to self-navigate using Aunt Bertha, or we assist them in using the platform. While we don’t operate as a crisis hotline, we want to be able to support people (whether it be in the short or long term) to find services that will improve their overall quality of life.

 

AB: What are some of your reflections about social service access and referrals, and how does Step Up for Mental Health fit into that space?

SUFMH: In a time of great crisis, people dealing with mental health issues or their caregivers can be under even more stress. I’d like to be able to say, “Okay, you just relax, let me get a package together for you and get you the information you need”. That’s where Aunt Bertha really comes into play because I can’t do everything. We’re small, but if I have tools, like Aunt Bertha, I can make a huge impact with the resources I do have.

Are you a direct service provider in your community or know of an organization doing impactful direct service work? Click here to learn more about how to claim a program on Aunt Bertha and unlock free team sharing, reporting and referral management functionality, all in one user-friendly tool!

Contributor: Adrienne McCue

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Topics: Mental Health Social Services Provider Package Provider Spotlight Series Chicago

Provider Spotlight Series: A Q&A with the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas

Literacy is more than knowing how to read. That’s the message the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas is spreading to community members and the focus of their work with over 2,000 clients last year.

As Aunt Bertha launches our Provider Package, making new features and how-to content available to providers who have claimed their listings, we bring you The Provider Spotlight Series--a group of blog postings aimed at showcasing the remarkable work a variety of providers are doing in their communities and the ways in which they are using Aunt Bertha to help them.

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We spoke with the Ashlee Kraus, Social Services Coordinator at the Literacy Coalition of Central Texas about how the organization is embracing digital outreach as a way to better serve their clients and reach their target audience, managing referrals through Aunt Bertha's Connect feature, and continually finding new ways to engage their community after claiming their listing. 


AB: In a few sentences, what is the mission of your organization and what kinds of services do you offer to advance your mission?

LCCT: In today’s world, literacy is about using printed and written information to function in society, achieve one’s goals, and develop one’s knowledge and potential. At the Literacy Coalition we believe everyone should have the skills they need to reach their full potential. Our mission is to improve the quality and increase the availability of literacy services to Central Texas, with a vision of a community that is 100% literate, employable and engaged.

AB: How do people learn about your programs?

LCCT: The most common ways that people learn about our programs are through search engines and our website. We also attend many informational fairs throughout the year, and see a great response through word of mouth from our former participants.

AB: What challenges have you faced in the past in finding people for your programs?

LCCT: Our greatest challenge is having the platforms to make sure that all of the relevant information about our program is out there. Our High School Equivalency (GED) and Adult Basic Education programs are very intensive and require a potential student to dedicate a lot of time and energy. Our program is designed so students can work at their own pace, so it’s important that our messaging is clear and we are proving that we are in it to support students for as long as it takes them to accomplish their goals.

AB: How does Aunt Bertha work as a tool to help you find and connect with people interested in your programs?

LCCT: Aunt Bertha gives us a user friendly and practical place to advertise our free services. It’s also a great platform for allowing people to get in contact with us, and posting all of the most current and relevant information about our programs. Aunt Bertha helps us find out more about the prospective client’s needs and determine if they are a good fit for our programs.

AB: Have you seen a change over time in the number of people reaching out to learn more about your services online?

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LCCT: Yes! Since we’ve had the option to move to online platforms, we have seen a great increase in the number of digital inquiries we get. We have an inquiry form on our website that allows potential clients to request information about the many programs we offer and gives them options for language preferences as well as when and how they would like to be contacted.

 

AB: Are there any other ways you use or plan to use Aunt Bertha in your work?

LCCT: So far, we’ve been using Aunt Bertha as a tool to direct potential new students to our program, but in recent months we have really seen how it can be useful in helping connect clients with other resources in the community. We have been able to pass out postcards and general information that has allowed students to navigate the website on their own and inquire about resources available to them. We are excited to start using the team sharing feature so that the social workers and instructors can have a go-to, trusted list of resources for clients.

AB: What are some of your reflections about social service access and referrals, and how does the Literacy Coalition fit into that space?

LCCT: Many times, when our clients need help they are in a very vulnerable state. Their odds can seem insurmountable and they don’t know where to start. At Literacy Coalition, we truly believe that literacy is about more than just knowing how to read and write. It’s about having the tools and skills one needs to navigate life, and confidently using those skills to achieve their goals. The team at The Learning Center is dedicated to making sure that every potential client that passes through our doors has access to high quality services, even if they are services that we cannot provide. Aunt Bertha gives us an amazing tool to help everyone navigate the social services landscape, and get them on the way to being their best selves.

Are you a direct service provider in your community or know of an organization doing impactful direct service work? Click here to learn more about how to claim a program on Aunt Bertha and unlock free team sharing, reporting and referral management functionality, all in one user-friendly tool!

Contributor: Ashlee Kraus

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Topics: Provider Package Provider Spotlight Series

Announcing Aunt Bertha's NEW Provider Package

Here at Aunt Bertha, we have dubbed September "Direct Service Providers Month". Why? Because for a while now, we’ve been asking direct service providers who have listings on Aunt Bertha to claim their programs. Starting today, we are making this process easier and opening up so many new, free tools for claimed providers, we need a whole month to talk about it and celebrate YOU!

It’s simple: Claim your program and you have access to the NEW Provider Package.

Questions on how to claim? Answers.

So what’s the Provider Package?

The Provider Package is a suite of new, free features and tools for our claimed providers complete with support and step-by-step how-to’s to help you get the most out of your Aunt Bertha experience.

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 2.36.24 PM.pngThe Provider Package is also a way for the Aunt Bertha team to say “thank you” to the amazing group of service providers who make up such a big part of our community. Your work inspires and energizes us to build products that make the process of helping people easier. We heard your feedback and went to work.

We’re excited to bring you:

    • A new webpage especially for providers--www.about.auntbertha.com/provider This brand new webpage features all the information and how-to’s you need to start making the most of the Provider Package’s free tools. Bookmark it!
       
 
  • The Provider 101 GuideA one-stop shop that guides you through everything you need to know about the features you’ve unlocked by claiming your program, including Frequently Asked Questions. 

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Once you have the basics down you can...

  • Update your programs’ information: The ability to get the right information about your programs to people in need by easily updating key information, like: immediate next steps, your location, hours of operation, availability, eligibility requirements, supported languages, and more.
  • Take advantage of FREE features to help you help others, including the ability to:
    • Track and manage referrals made to your programs
    • Share your favorite programs among team members
    • See reporting and analytics of your program (and consider using this to show demand and gain more funding to do your work)

Over the next month, keep an eye out for in depth looks at all of the free features unlocked by claiming, highlights of providers across the country using Aunt Bertha to do impactful work in their communities, and more! Claim your programs now to get started!

Have feedback on the Provider Package or ideas for Aunt Bertha features that would help you or your organization? Let us know! Send a message to community@auntbertha.com.

Topics: Provider Package