Area organizations work together to avoid duplicating services

Area organizations work together to avoid duplicating services
Salvation Army Information Application (Source: KFDA)
Salvation Army Information Application (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - To avoid duplicating services to those in need, local organizations are working together to share information on who they serve.

The city of Amarillo overlooks a system called the Homeless Management Information System, which charities and organizations can use to make sure they are not providing similar services to the same person who is asking for help.

"Once an agency adds an individual in need to the system, we can see which agency can best serve their needs and so, an agency will go ahead and serve the person if they can, if not, they will refer them to another agency that can better meet that persons needs and that way we are all collaborating together and not duplicating services," Jennifer Santer, SA Coordinator for Social Services, said.

Agencies like the Salvation Army will collect information like a persons photo identification, work authorization and income and then contribute it to the database.

This database shows organizations who works with low income or homeless individuals, what kind of services people may need or have already received.

"Most agencies in Amarillo are already a part of that system and then we can just put in a client's information and if nothing comes up then it's a new client," Santer said. "A lot of clients will come up and we can see where they have gotten assistance in the last 10 years and what assistance they've received."

Often times area organizations have seen that duplicated services can happen more often by mistake during the holiday season when families ask for services from multiple agencies.

Amarillo now has a system called the Christmas Coalition.

Churches and charities can us the Christmas Coalition to share clients they have served during the holidays.

This program works similar to the Homeless Management Information System.

"When the Christmas Coalition started meeting, we agreed that we would take different forms of identification and so, organizations can work together to make sure that multiple places weren't giving just one person services," Salvation Army Major Ann Johnson said.

This year, Amarillo's Salvation Army is supervising the Christmas Coalition database and is encouraging other organizations to contact them if they plan to help families this holiday season.

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