Samaritan is a web app that supports the community by matching an individual's needs with supportive programs.
Samaritan is a responsive web app that allows organizations, which come into contact with people at-risk of homelessness based on the nature of their organization, the ability to register individuals into Samaritan’s database. Samaritan’s database is populated with health services, community outreach programs and multiple housing solutions to provide the individual or family at- risk with actionable next steps, which match their specific needs.
Samaritan features an easy to use form that is designed to coach a member (known as the Service Agent) of an approved partner organization, through the process of establishing need, collecting personal information, and providing appropriate help to the at-risk individual.
By designing a product that trains the Service Agent, and is available to be used by organizations that serve the community, it vastly expands the network and reach in order to reduce the number of people at-risk of homelessness, as well as provide the same needs to services matching for the existing homeless population.
Samaritan partner organizations will receive a Samaritan sign. Displaying a blue and white Samaritan sign at trusted community locations symbolizes a safe and non-judgmental place to seek help. Locations might include hospitals, libraries, shelters, police stations, religious organizations and local schools and colleges. Whether you are in fear of becoming homeless or are already part of the homeless community, a Samaritan organization is always open to help.
The inspiration for Samaritan came out of the problems posed in the Global Hack 6 project brief:
a. Detect — or even predict — who in the community is at risk of becoming homeless before they end up on the streets, and rapidly connect them with services providers who can help. Remember that many families and individuals become homeless from sudden loss of a job, sexual and physical abuse, addiction, medical debt, mental illness, or unpaid utility bills.
- Samaritan's main goal is to address the problem of prevention by allowing members of partner orginizations, most likely the first point of contact for people at-risk of becoming homeless, to match an individual or family to a service provider or program that may help the person in need before they lose or leave their home.
2) Electronic Referrals/Data Sharing
a. Allow the CoC members who use your HMIS to electronically refer clients to other organizations within their CoC or a neighboring CoC. For example, an emergency shelter might wish to electronically refer a client to a housing program for which he or she qualifies. Ensure that every step of the hand-off process is as smooth and efficient as possible, keeping all parties informed of the progress being made. In the same vein, CoC members need to be able to see what services clients are receiving from other CoC members to provide effective support and to prevent rare cases of fraud. For example, a housing provider may wish to quickly determine what job skills a new client might have and further the job training that a client has received to date in the CoC. Therefore, a CoC member might want to access data collected at the client’s prior shelter(s) and attendance records from local job training programs.
- Samaritan's secondary focus was to build the app in way that is scalable to allow for data sharing within the COC network in the future.