It seems like increasingly we hear about more people needing a little help, especially with the downturn in the economy as more people are struggling to make ends meet. Yet at the same time, Americans are unyielding in their commitment to help those who are less fortunate by donating their money, time, expertise or noncash items. While government programs exist to provide a ‘safety net’ often times it is the community nonprofit organizations that link people in need to the necessary supports and services.
Each week the WE Movement highlights an important initiative or program designed to help people. The flagship outreach effort, however, is the HELP4U web-based system that solves the problem of matching and connecting individuals who are in need of assistance as well as those re-entering the community from state correctional facilities with available programs and resources that are available.
Whether it is providing assistance after a natural disaster, linking people to appropriate medical care, donating a warm coat or ensuring that the homeless have a warm meal, every little bit of help goes a long way in making each and every community a better place. HELP4U was launched because many programs have been cut or eliminated, but there remains a very real need in communities across the United States. By harnessing the power of the Internet and the World Wide Web, HELP4U is available 24-hours a day and seven days a week and is accessible to help people with needs assessment, identifying resources and providing appropriate linkage to care and support.
What started as a pilot project in Oakland, California has now spread to Sacramento, CA and Los Angeles, CA, and efforts are underway to broaden the outreach efforts nationwide. HELP4U is designed to link participants, facilitators, providers and sponsors. Each play an important role in linking providers – individuals or companies with goods, products or services they wish to offer gratis to recipients – those in need and most fragile among us. Government agencies, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups are encouraged to visit HELP4U at http://www.help4u.com and enter their information, thereby making it available for people who are looking for help.
If you’re curious as to who should help, then the answer is simple.
- AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) trying to link people living with HIV/AIDS are invited to help.
- Homeless shelters offering food and shelter for people living without homes are invited to help.
- Pantries making available food and warm meals for families in need are invited to help.
- Tutoring programs providing English classes for EAS migrants are invited to help.
- Transitional programs giving assistance to post-incarcerated inmates are invited to help.
- And you are invited to help…
In reality, HELP4U is perfect for just about any type of program.
The benefits of using the HELP4U platform are numerous, but the rewards are priceless. They are priceless because by helping just a single individual or family in need of help is what it is all about! HELP4U is not just about linking individuals or companies offering supports and services, but it is also about providing seamless coordination of services and programs of departments within a state, county or city. The environmentally-friendly system leverages technology to greatly reduce paper usage, provides the creation of new jobs for intake workers who will facilitate care services and offers the ability to track key metrics for quantifying the number of participants assisted by the services made available, just to name a few.
Over time the success of the HELP4U platform will be contingent on the community “buy-in” as more and more agency and providers create their profiles, thus providing a more complete assessment of products, resources and supports being made available to the people in need using it.
We have joined, will you? Learn more at http://www.wemovement.org/.