4People - some history

2006 – Present. The county portals are expanded to include all counties on the western side of the state. County Resources, Hotline Webpages, and Family Resources and Referral Lists are featured on each county page. Detailed Agency, Program, and Services data with keyword searching is not available due to database licensing constraints.

The case management module of the 4People/Tapestry software is now being used by several organizations in Benton, Franklin and Yakima counties. In Benton/Franklin counties, the Community Action Committee (BFCAC) took the lead in forming Home Base, a consortium of the BFCAC, DSHS, faith based organizations, BF Health Department, and a growing number of other health and human service providers. Home Base provides assistance and support for refugees from Katrina and other disasters, and the homeless. 1000 homeless or potentially homeless are assessed and provided services. A 20% reduction in homelessness is seen in the first year.

In Yakima County, Kids Connect, another consortium, connects families with children birth to 19 years to health care and insurance. 3000 uninsured children/parents are provided health care.

4People becomes self-sustaining, from a software licensing standpoint, through case management usage fees. The usage fees are highly affordable (e.g. $500/yr per agency) and far, far less than any single agency could afford.

4People receives a grant from US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families. This is a capacity building grant and is being used to market the online I & R resources in eastern Washington.

The future. The Katrina disaster showed that no one organization can stand alone and help all the people all the time. Also learned was that top down management only works for those in the right place and time.

4People is a new model, where the focus is the client - the at risk family or individual. 4People provides the tools for the caseworkers from multiple agencies to focus on the client. The I & R database and the case management system combine to form a living tool for real time use as well as in standby mode in the event of another disaster.

Just some of the expansion goals include:

You can help. 4People needs sponsors for the web site, help in promoting public awareness of 4people.org, funding and equipment for expanded server capacity, case workers for day-to-day operations and in standby for emergencies. Visit us at www.4people.org

HISTORY: Bi-county homeless rate drops 20%. 3000 uninsured people get health care. Get help online!

4People is an online Information and Referral (I & R) service and case management system serving the state of Washington (see www.4people.org ).

4People got its start in 1997 when a consortium of health care providers, employment specialists, and non-profit agencies in Chelan and Douglas counties came together with a common goal: to provide a comprehensive, online database of health and human services for their bi-county area. They chose VisionLink, based in Boulder, Colorado, to provide the online software. That software, Tapestry, has since grown to become the nation’s leading community integration system and is used by a wide range of government and non-profit organizations to provide Information & Referral, case management, disaster relief management, homeless shelter management, Elder Care services, and much more. Tapestry is used by CAN (Coordinated Assistance Network – www.can.org) to coordinate disaster relief for Katrina victims nationwide.

The year 2000. 4People spreads to Yakima County with the United Way taking the lead in that area. Still an informal consortium, 4People’s increased membership is significantly expanded the I & R database. The United Way of Yakima dedicated a full time AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service To America) to the cause.

2002. The RECA Foundation (Realizing Every Community Access) joins the consortium. RECA has provided Information Technology support to low income families and non-profit organizations in Benton and Franklin counties since 1992. RECA brings a great deal of experience in designing and running online resources for their community. But none of the designs proved to be self sustaining – the 4People database shows great promise to overcome the sustainability hurdle. RECA takes on the administration and marketing of 4People, expanding the I & R database to include Benton and Franklin Counties. The RECA board and other volunteers initiates an effort to expand the database to all of eastern Washington.

2004. 4People is formalized as a Washington State non-profit and gains federal 501(c)3 status. The administration of 4People is governed and run by an all volunteer board of directors. One full time AmeriCorp VISTA is employed through the RECA Foundation’s Community Technology Centers Network affiliation.

2004 – 2006. The VisionLink licensing agreement allows for the I & R database to include all counties in eastern Washington. The I & R database is now fully populated for all 19 counties. County specific portals are created that allow for county specific keyword searches. Keyword searches yield a detailed list of services and associated programs and agencies that can be further refined by additional keyword restraints. Users may also use the “County Resources” button located on each county page to gain instant access to a comprehensive list of resources with a phone number and, if available, web site link. A “Hotline Webpages” button yields a list of National and Statewide hotlines and web pages. A printable “Family Resource and Referral List” is also available for each county.