Community CareLink Expands into Vermont with John Graham Housing & Services
As part of a push to broaden our reach to people-serving nonprofits outside the Midwest, we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with John Graham Housing & Services (JGHS).
Located in Vergennes, VT, JGHS provides emergency shelter, housing, and essential services to people experiencing homelessness across Addison County. Since its founding in 1981, the nonprofit has grown steadily, serving 460 people in 2020.
With its steady growth came the realization that JGHS had reached a transition point. Restructuring and professionalization would be required to successfully expand its current operating budget of $1.2M.
To that end, the Board of Directors did a national search for a new Executive Director, who would be tasked with taking JGHS to the next level. In April 2021, Susan Whitmore was hired in large part for her extensive experience with helping behavioral health nonprofits make these kinds of transitions.
Her first step was hiring a technology firm to provide JGHS with case management software. “CCL is superior to any EHR I have worked with,” she said about making her decision. “CCL has roots in the nonprofit world, particularly with people-serving organizations, and it shows. It’s easy to learn and gives us exactly what we need to improve and expand the quality of our services.”
In order to expand the reach and capacity of JGHS, Whitmore identified several crucial areas that needed to be addressed, including:
· Standardizing client records with proper documentation and case notes to ensure
proper follow up and data collection
· Standardizing electronic screenings for mental health, substance use disorders, trauma
and more to provide consistent, evidence-based care
· Quantifying the qualitative component of its service delivery to measure the progress
of people JGHS serves (e.g., track resilience, increased stability, ability to overcome
barriers and move forward on the individual service plan)
· Measuring the efficacy of the services being provided; make changes if needed
· Providing accurate data to funders on the efficacy of services provided
· Connecting and coordinating with other county and state organizations to ensure that
each person served is given all the tools they need to overcome barriers to permanent
“Building capacity for a housing organization has its own unique challenges,” explained Whitmore. “It’s not just about hiring more people and paying more salaries. To serve more people we need more housing. And that means building or buying more buildings.”
“We need to increase our funding steams considerably,” she continued. “We can’t go from where we are to where we want to go without a longitudinal patient record. CCL gives us exactly what we need to build capacity and maintain (and even improve) our services. The team is great to work with and their behavioral health technology is superior to any I have used.”
We are incredibly excited to be working with Whitmore and her team at JGHS and thrilled to be expanding to Vermont. Because CCL is a community information exchange, we also look forward to connecting JGHS to other Addison County and state providers. We know from experience our technology can make a huge difference in the lives of the people our partners serve. And that is the whole point!
John Graham Housing & Services Bio
With a strengths-based approach, the organization empowers people to achieve their own goals and fulfill their unmet needs. We recognize that people are not uniform and neither are their reasons for being homeless. After welcoming a family into the safe and compassionate atmosphere of the Shelter, our talented service coordinators work one on one to individualize care. We help each person identify their strengths and support systems and develop a written plan, complete with strategies to accomplish client-determined goals. We emphasize wraparound services, multi-level approaches, and a comprehensive mental health model. Our client-centered approach to case management empowers people to take responsibility for their own futures. Service coordinators connect residents with community partner organizations, employment opportunities, food assistance, health care, education, transportation and long-term sustainable housing. In addition, we have on-site mental health and substance abuse counselors to help people heal from trauma and addiction.