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Housing charity using tech to boost efficiency

Helping Shelter to help the homeless
Written by Tim Ferguson, Contributor

Helping Shelter to help the homeless

Housing charity Shelter has signed a deal with software services company Civica for a new client information management system.

The system will record information about people the charity is helping - such as their current situation, actions taken by Shelter and other personal information - and make it available and searchable across the organisation.

Sharing information between centres is currently difficult. The national helpline in Sheffield, for instance, often has trouble accessing local centre data.

The new system will improve data sharing and efficiency. The charity predicts it will allow them to take on 10 per cent - or 17,000 - more cases over the first six months than it currently handles.

Justin Scully, operation manager at Shelter, said: "I actually think there'll be much greater increases than that in the longer term."

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Scully added the system will allow the charity to not only share client data but also spot trends that help inform the charity's campaigning work.

He cited a recent surge in mortgage problems among clients (due to rising interest rates) which the new system would be able to quantify. This sort of data would assist Shelter's efforts to influence government policy.

He concluded: "I think it's a way that we can use technology to help more people."

The system will also alert Shelter employees of approaching deadlines and store all email correspondence which can be searched via an integrated email option.

All existing and future paper-based case information will be scanned onto the system.

Shelter is likely to have the system in place by September this year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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