Tech for Good: Cross Road House’s Journey with Cherwell
Posted by on December 14, 2018
Bailey Gannett works on the Cherwell communications team. She's a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Boulder, specializing in communications and public relations. Interning for companies like DaVita Kidney Care and Ball Corporation has allowed her to gain experience in internal and external communications for corporations.
“It is unusual in a tech career where your software can actually do good beyond the corporate world. It’s fulfilling to know I am able to help people sustain themselves utilizing our technology.” –John Moore
A few years back, Cherwell’s John Moore and his wife, Vanda, began their journey with Cross Roads House (CRH), an emergency and transitional shelter that helps men, women, and children without a home get back on their feet during hard times.
“Cross Roads is near and dear to mine and my wife’s heart,” shares Moore. CRH provides shelter, a clean bed, and nutritious meals—their main mission, however, is equipping residents to be self-sustainable and break the cycle of homelessness.
Cross Roads House,which serves eastern New Hampshire and southern Maine
CRH in the past has struggled with admittance of residents and tracking their service requirements throughout the lengthily process that eventually help residents get back into stable and secure housing. They were spending incredible amounts of valuable time on manual tracking and documentation. They weren’t able to effectively streamline workflows and move onto the greater mission of the nonprofit.
“Cross Roads was looking to automate their processes, so they could spend more time on what’s important, helping people get out of bad situations,” said Moore.
Enter Cherwell Software.
Moore recognized this workflow problem that he’d seen reflected in many commercial organizations before. He brought it up to his wife, Vanda Moore, who currently serves as an officer on Cross Roads House’s board of directors.
Pictured above are John and Vanda Moore
This came at just the right time, as they discovered another CRH board member Eric Campbell, was planning to write an application from scratch to handle the work flow needs of CRH. Well aware of the power of Cherwell’s Service Management Platform, Moore knew that there was a better use of the nonprofit’s time than to write code from scratch. Cherwell provides a codeless workflow platform that automates standard business processes. Then, Josh Travers, one of Cherwell’s Solution Strategists, volunteered his time to show Campbell the capabilities, power, and simplicity that Cherwell Service Management could bring to Cross Roads.
“Eric was like a kid in a candy store when he saw Josh begin to build a vision of the workflows and reporting metrics that could be created,” said Moore. Over that year, Travers and Moore embarked on a journey to make Cherwell's software work for CRH. Through a grant from Cherwell, CRH received permanent licensing for the service management platform.
Moore didn’t stop there. He brought in Robert Goguen, president of Excalibur Data Systems Canada, a trusted Cherwell partner. Goguen has donated many hours of his time and expertise to help develop a phase 1 admittance system for CRH along with Eric Campbell.
The prototype system was designed to quickly onboard a person who has been displaced from their last option of residency. Since CRH operates year round, the front desk and case workers were often flooded during holidays or during periods of poor weather. This system now enables CRH to easily onboard and provide immediate care to the new residents. In addition, this started the workflow of healthcare, support, training, and ultimately the journey to success for these people who are urgently in need of help.
“Residents come from very challenging situations: job losses, violent households, poor financial management skills, drug/alcohol addictions, mental and physical illness, divorce, and more. In many cases, CRH is literally the last rung of the ladder for them to hold on to,” says Moore.
CRH strives to help residents overcome more than just the basic challenges of homelessness. They provide a variety of services, such as Rent Readiness sessions, Ready to Work sessions, and more. Now, due to Cherwell’s software, all of these services can be tracked and measured within the system so that management and the board of directors can build business and present data-driven cases and reporting to solicit and compete for funding.
“My big, personal goal with this whole project is to potentially create a mergeable application (mApp) that other transitional housing organizations and shelters could take advantage of using Cherwell’s software,” said Moore. “I am simply thrilled that for the first time in my career, my job and technology could do more than just aid corporate America. It is a very satisfying feeling to give back within my profession!” Mergeable applications—or mApps—are transferable workflows that the Cherwell community shares amongst themselves for common workflow processes saving enormous amounts of time and money with respect to development.
Today, Cross Roads House continues to utilize Cherwell software with their now permanent licenses. CRH is able to streamline information and documentation of their residents much more efficiently, saving time and costs to focus on what’s important—helping those in need get back on their feet.
“We are excited and look forward to Cherwell's software automating processes for resident intake, resident tasks, and milestone management. The software will also help us with exiting and tracking residents as they move into permanent housing. This will decrease the amount of manual work allowing staff to increase productivity on larger matters,” says Sandra Beaudry, Program Director at CRH.
Case workers are able to spend more time helping residents than filling out paperwork. We look forward to following up with CHR down the line to discover all the ways that our software continues to make an impact in their nonprofit mission.
“My goal is that we can offer this to other groups in the future; the value of Cherwell to do good and give back to the community is amazing. I am so grateful that our company and our partners take the time to help others in need,” says Moore.
If you would like to learn more about Cross Roads House and their mission, visit their website here to discover how you can help make a difference.
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