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Posted in: July, 2018

Meet Winners Resource Center: Improving Resource Allocation for those in Need

Winners’ Resource Center is a nonprofit charity that provides services to about 600 families a month in the Tampa Bay Area and beyond.  Its mission is to impact the lives of others by helping them overcome their current needs and matching them with solutions to help win in life, providing in addition to food and clothing,  life skills training and referral assistance.

Their National Day of Civic Hacking challenge is to develop a more efficient resource for non-profits and companies to share their information with those in need in the Tampa Bay area, as well as to be able to better inform community members about available services and opportunities.

The services they offer are many and far reaching:

  • Food and Clothing Assistance – from fresh and non-perishable grocery items for individuals, families and other community organizations to serving hot meals to the homeless and poor, and providing clothing and basic need items , daily and during weekly community visits to low-income areas or large city-wide outreach events.
  • Employment Mentoring for the unemployed or under-employed, via a team of experts who assist resume writing, identifying skill sets and practicing interview skills.
  • Computer Lab (Opening Soon) which will provide computer skills training, after school tutoring, and homework assistance.
  • Life Skills Training including healthy living workshops, finance, self-defense classes, CPR certification and other basic life skills for the home and workplace, all through partnerships with experts and other organizations to bring addiction, parenting and mental health counseling to those who need it.

 NDCH Project

Jaina Washington, with Winners’ Resource Center, explains what they’re looking for in their National Day of Civic Hacking project.

“Currently there is no website or app that families in need of resources can use to find community events to get items they may need. For instance, our organization and many others will distribute food for families or clothes via events. Other groups will do popup health screening events. Being able to have one location where people can learn about resources available via events will be helpful.

“While 211 lists all the organizations, many nonprofits and even companies will host events geared to reaching those in need. We currently share information regarding these types of events as often as we can, but having a way to automatically pull information in from social media platforms or non-profit websites would go a long way. (Think Google Alerts meets Eventbrite for non-profits and companies to share their information with those in need in the Tampa Bay area.) We service the Tampa Bay area, and since our organization is doing this (on a small scale and when we hear about information), our goal is to do it more efficiently and make it easier to be found.

“As a non profit, we don’t always have the budget to access the technical skills we need. The NDHC is a great way to bring skills from the community to help us to solve issues.”

If you would like to help develop a better way for Winners’ Resource Center to reach and communicate with those in need, and to raise awareness of the many complementary services provided by other nonprofits in the community,  please register for our National Day of Civic Hacking event on August 11th, and select the Tampa location to Hack for Change at The Industrious Office from 9am to 5pm at 401 E Jackson St Suite 3300 in Tampa.

Click image to register for NDCH 2018!

Many thanks to The Ledger,   Brianna Bond  and Covered Web Services of Tampa, for our great Tampa site, and to Hillsborough County EDI2 for fiscal support.

Meet Metropolitan Ministries: Seeking a More Responsive Way to Engage with the Community

Metropolitan Ministries is one our Tampa National Day of Civic Hacking project champions.

Metropolitan Ministries is a nonprofit community service agency whose mission is care for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless through services that alleviate suffering, promote dignity and instill self-sufficiency.  The organization works across four counties: Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk, providing short term emergency shelter, the Uplift U Self-Sufficiency program to help people transition into permanent housing,  works to alleviate food insecurity and provides educational and lifeskills training support.

NDCH Project 

Galina Tishchenko, Director of Digital Strategy for Metropolitan Ministries, submitted this communications challenge for our 2018 National Day of Civic Hacking event.  She enumerated the issues, and the needs:

  1.  For Metropolitan Ministries, the rate of crisis intervention happening via social media channels, namely Facebook messenger, is drastically increasing. This new form of instant communication has opened an opportunity for better service but has also created immense strain on the Metropolitan Ministries marketing staff. Inquiries range from urgent crisis situations, to basic questions about food distribution, to donors requesting information on drop off and volunteering. There currently is no technology in place to rapidly address these concerns in a sensitive and appropriate way. The information that could help those in need is scattered across various channels and the Metropolitan Ministries website, neither of which are user friendly.
  2.  85% of Metropolitan Ministries support comes from private donations. Most of this support comes from The Greatest Generation and Baby Boomers. If Metropolitan Ministries is to persist in Tampa Bay they need to inspire a new generation of donors to engage with this community and feel a sense of ownership in the Metropolitan Ministries mission. They are currently struggling to develop strategies that provide an inspiring message to younger audiences that gets them to engage financially and socially.
  3. Metropolitan Ministries is built on the idea that bringing the community together will solve many of the problems we face. There currently is not a great place for community members to help those in need, digitally. You can find small examples of this on the Metropolitan Ministries social media pages where people, unprompted, will offer information or direct help to those in need. The problem is no centralized place for the community to step in and directly help one another online on a person to person level.

If you would like to help develop a comprehensive digital platform that would help Metropolitan Ministries more efficiently provide crisis intervention through social media,  inspire engagement with a younger demographic and improve community engagement overall, please register for our National Day of Civic Hacking event on August 11th, and select the Tampa location to Hack for Change at The Industrious Office from 9am to 5pm at 401 E Jackson St Suite 3300 in Tampa.

Click image to register for NDCH 2018!

Many thanks to The Ledger,   Brianna Bond  and Covered Web Services of Tampa, for our great Tampa site, and to Hillsborough County EDI2 for fiscal support.

Now Two Great Locations to Hack for Change in Tampa Bay on August 11!

We’re super happy to announce that we have a second location for this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking event in Tampa Bay, on August 11!  In addition to our St. Petersburg location, generously provided by the Academy at the Suncoast Developers Guild,  we’re grateful to The Ledger, Brianna Bond and Covered Web Services  for donating space use at the Industrious Office on Franklin Street in Tampa, and for support from Hillsborough County .

The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild – Pinellas County 2220 Central Ave St Petersburg, FL 33712 Map

and

The Industrious Office – Hillsborough County 401 E Jackson St Suite 3300 Tampa, FL 33602 Map

 

Select your preferred location when you register

Projects

At our Tampa location, we’ll be working on these projects:

  • Metropolitan Ministries – to help develop an intelligent chatbot to better direct those in need to most appropriate services (Tampa NDCH)
  • Winners’ Resource Center – A more efficient resource for non-profits and companies to share their information with those in need in the Tampa Bay area (Tampa NDCH)
  • Pasco Agents for Change – helping this newly created nonprofit develop an advocacy website and tools to aid their efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in Pasco County Public Schools (Tampa NDCH)

In St. Petersburg, we’ll be working on these:

As well as other projects participants may be interested in developing at each location. We’ll share more information about these groups and their projects in the next few weeks.

Winning solutions will be chosen by agency representatives, and winners will receive trophies and the opportunity to continue developing their hackathon challenge solution into fully working models for the relevant civic agencies.

Please join us!

 

Registration is Now Open for Tampa Bay National Day of Civic Hacking!

National Day of Civic Hacking, on August 11, is an annual nationwide event that brings together volunteer civic technologists with local government, community agencies and organizations to work together on 21st century solutions to organizational and government services challenges. Our Pinellas County event host is Suncoast Developers Guild.

This year, Code for Tampa Bay invited local city and county governments, and area service organizations to to submit project ideas for the event, and received several on which Hack for Change teams can work together to solve.

Projects
The four agencies we’ll be working with at this year’s event are:

We’ll share more information about these groups and their projects, as well as a couple of others in the wings, as we get closer to the event date.  There will be other project opportunities, as well.

Winning solutions will be chosen by a team of judges and agency representatives, and winners will receive trophies and the opportunity to continue developing their hackathon challenge solution into fully working models for the relevant civic agencies.

Helpful flowchart. Click to enlarge.

Who Can Participate
There’s no cost to participate and all are welcome! It’s not necessary to be a coder or “techie” to participate. While coders, developers and designers have vital skills to create applications, dashboards and tools, they can’t do their work without interested citizens with ideas, artists who can design graphics and layouts, front end designers, writers and storytellers. The issues being explored are whole brain problems in need of whole brain solutions, and everyone is needed at the table.

Meals and refreshments are provided throughout the day, and the first 50 registrants receive event t-shirts.

 

Sponsorship
If you or your company would like to be a National Day of Civic Hacking sponsor, you can contribute at Code for America and identify “Code for Tampa Bay” as the beneficiary.  You can see our Sponsorship Opportunities here.

NDCH Code of Conduct
Code for Tampa Bay Brigade, at all meetings and events, actively abides by Code for America’s Code of Conduct and operates as a Safe Space, where anyone can relax and be fully self-expressed, without fear of being made to feel uncomfortable, unwelcome, or unsafe on account of biological sex, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural background, age, or physical or mental ability; a place where the rules guard each person’s self-respect and dignity and strongly encourages everyone to respect others. You can read our full Code of Conduct here. Anyone violating our Code of Conduct may be asked to leave a meeting or event.