A troubling 12.3 percent of people in Lancaster County, PA scramble every day to meet basic needs like having enough food to eat or a warm place to sleep. That number’s even higher in Lancaster City – 29.3 percent.
Yet, “poverty is more than the numbers that prove it,” Beverly Gologorsky points out. “For those Americans who are just one paycheck, one sick child, one broken-down car away from falling into its abyss, poverty lasts forever.”¹
Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Lancaster County understands that poverty is complex and its contributing factors vary. As the county’s largest anti-poverty non-profit, CAP provides a number of programs and services to help those who need it, from Child Care and Domestic Violence Services to Senior Centers and Utility Assistance.
Yet, the data being collected from all of the different programs lived in separate databases, making it virtually impossible to get a true picture of every client. Since a profile was created for each program a client enrolled in, that often meant duplicate profiles for one person across the community.
CAP needed a one-stop solution for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on important data. So it joined forces with CaseWorthy. “We didn’t want our customers to have to create their profiles in different databases ten times and tell their stories ten times, explains Sheldon Kepiro, Director of Information Technology for CAP of Lancaster. “[With CaseWorthy] it’s all there in one system, a customer does an intake once and then builds upon that profile at the next program they visit rather than starting from the beginning again.”
Now, that program and client information is gathered and stored in a single database, there’s less duplication of records. CAP and its partner organizations can easily track program usage and outcomes in the CaseWorthy database. Tracking and reporting for CSBG, PIR, and other reports is easier because the data is right there. Case workers have secure, anytime access to important info, which in turn, boosts efficiency across the board for all participating agencies. Thanks to these streamlined processes, low-income residents are able to connect to needed services more easily for the help they need. In the 21stCentury, we shouldn’t settle for decades-old service models that leave people unserved, under-served, or, worst of all, worse off than when they reached out to us. We can do better. County-Wide CaseWorthy is just one tool to help us build a 21stCentury model of care for Lancaster County.
¹Gologorsky, Beverly. “What Does Poverty Feel Like in America?” Salon Media Group, Inc. June 6, 2018. https://www.salon.com/2018/06/18/what-does-poverty-feel-like-in-america_partner/