The goal for the evening was to learn about Asheville’s efforts to end homelessness in our community and to identify ways that we might help. We were joined by Tracey Childers, Co-Chair of the Asheville Homeless Coalition and Christiana Glenn Tugman, Homeless Lead for the City of Asheville.

Better Communications Tools for the Homeless Coalition

The Asheville Homeless Coalition is a local network of agencies, non-profits, faith groups, and other community organizations that provide a safety net for homeless individuals and others in need of assistance.

Our job for the evening was to work with Tracey to find ways to increase collaboration and communication among agencies in in the Coalition and to improve the distribution of information to the public.

The plan we came up with is to build both public and internal collaboration and communication around Facebook, with a Facebook page for public announcements and promotion and a Facebook Group for internal sharing of updates and announcements. In addition, the Coalition will use a Google Sites website to store more permanent information in a more accessible and organized way.

Code for Asheville members are needed to help set things up and to assist in maintaining the Facebook page and group and the Google site. Check out the specific needs here.

Supporting the Five Year Strategic Plan on Homelessness

Christiana has been working with the Homeless Initiative Advisory Committee to create a five-year strategic plan for addressing homelessness. The plan was recently approved by both the Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Commission.

A large part of the plan is to become more data-driven, and to leverage digital tools to ensure that communication between agencies and to the public is as effective as possible.

Christiana identified a need for a platform to handle immediate communication between service providers, advocates, government agencies and the public while also allowing historical information to be captured and referenced later, including attaching and archiving notes, discussion threads or comments regarding specific cases. The security and privacy requirements are fairly stringent.

We are looking for help researching capabilities and pricing for potential solutions. If you can help, check out more detailed requirements here.

This article is from the semi-weekly Code for Asheville newsletter. See the rest of this issue here. Sign up for future mailings here.