Building Resilience and Knowledge at La Fondita de Jesús

Ever wonder what percentage of population suffers from chronic homelessness? La Fondita de Jesús, knows. Did you know that permanent supportive housing has been proven nationwide to reduce the use of expensive emergency care and may even be a budget neutral, social good? Research on this topic would be of great bearing to Puerto Rico as budgets are being scrutinized. In any such research, La Fondita de Jesús would be a key source of information. Did you know in Puerto RIco art has been used for over a decade for its therapeutic value in the lives of people facing, experiencing or emerging from homelessness? La Fondita de Jesús has seen the impact of art in transforming lives.  Puerto Rico needs to know the great work that takes place at La Fondita de Jesús and ensure ongoing capacity building is made available so that we can share the wealth of knowledge and insights they have.

La Fondita de Jesús is a local community services organization specializing aiding people who are experiencing homelessness. Founded in 1984, "La Fondita", as it is popularly known, has become grown from a soup-kitchen to an organization that serves people in need in a holistic way. Today there are living quarters, counseling services, library, art workshops, training for micro-entrepreneurs  among many others. These programs are made possible thanks a very dynamic grant proposal writing and administration staff. These targeted funds however, often cover basic operational adminsitrative costs. The challenge facing La Fondita is identifying unrestricted funds that enable them to invest in organizational capacity building in order to (1) improve their data management and inter-program knowledge transfer, (2) introduce new technologies for community outreach, and (3) advance their sustainability by embarking on fundraising activities.

Using macro social work techniques in community intervention, James O'Malley, MSW, set about working with La Fondita de Jesús to create a roadmap of solutions that puts the decisions and ownership in their hands.  The resulting capacity building project will (1) integrate online communications tools with backend data capturing that will improve program announcements, registries, provide geolocation of services and consolidate evaluations. The project will also (2) enable La Fondita to consolidate donor data acquisition under one central location, accessible to key administrative personnel. The project will use software libre, Drupal coupled with CiviCRM*, and will deployed with a capacity building focus that is empowering the organization and its stakeholders to take charge of and own the software solution. Training sessions on and support will be available throughout  the first year of engagement along with the additional services of an online communications interns for  6 hours a month for a total of 2 years. Four university students will benefit from these intern opportunities. Training and support will address data management, analysis and communication product development for use across programs and with the stakeholders.  Total budget is $20,000 for 2 years of services.

At the conclusion of a 2 year engagement, La Fondita will be expected to be in a position to continue to invest in their community outreach technology, human resource development, and actively contribute data and insights from their wide variety of programs to the community at large.

PR PASS Workshop's goal is to grow the local knowledge base applied to everyday decision making among entities providing public services.
With the help of donors and collaborators we provide technology and educational services to non-profits at no cost. These services are focused on empowering participant organizations to take control over their data and improve stakeholder engagement. All participant organizations to produce a report at the end of the engagement with PR PASS Workshop that adds to the local knowledge base data and insights of the evidence-based practices they are exploring.

*CiviCRM is a CRM built for use in the non-profit sector allows La Fondita de Jesús to capture and retain donor information and activities.

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