Tuesday, August 29, 2017



How would you feel if the money that supports you were given directly to your landlord, your doctor, your grocer, and your local bus system?  Would you feel like your independence and control were compromised?

I would.  I like the fact that I can chose where my money goes, and what I do with it.

So I'm going to propose we turn the financing of homeless service programs into what we all expect for ourselves.  What if we issued debit cards to everyone we serve, filled them with the funds we provide to our service organizations, and equipped the organizations with payment acceptance devices which additionally provided our system with the important service management information necessary for quality improvement.

Serving our customers and allowing them to provide the kind of feedback that incentivizes private businesses toward excellence, would seem a more effective means of insuring client-centered and focused services.  Additionally,  it moves us significantly forward in unifying our reporting systems to improve collaborations.

The technology is already here todo so.  Smart phones with charge cubes process credit cards for all of us, and backend databases analyze our movements and support our needs.  I'll bet there's a silicon valley startup which could be harnessed for this social benefit.

But that's not the key question.  Is the homeless service community ready and wiling to respond to their homeless clients in the same way that the rest of the world responds to us?


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