HEART OF BOYNTON ALLIANCE
OF SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES
Family Strengthening Program
In May 2020, social service agencies were faced with a overwhelming task of providing emergency food, shelter, and financial assistance services to clients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The "Heart of Boynton" is one of those communities identified as a poverty pocket and faced inequities in health and economic opportunities. We knew we were facing a challenge and decided that it might be better to try to do it together! By leveraging our resources, we began to provide a safety-net to enable local families to achieve economic recovery and prevent evictions and foreclosure.
Agencies located in the "Heart of Boynton" began virtual weekly meetings between executive directors and program staff to acquaint each other with their respective services, programs, and procedures. Using a Release of Information Form and an iCloud tool, a "One-Stop-Shop" was established to gather and share client information and documentation. It also minimized risk of exposure to COVID-19 for staff and clients and increased agencies response time to referrals for additional assistance required for clients to achieve economic recovery.
The process was not easy for agencies in the Alliance. The “new normal” required learning new virtual processes for in-take applications, document collection, verbal signatures, while many clients were impacted by the what we call the digital divide; limited technological capacity and internet access.
All agencies were also experiencing staffing issues due to COVID-19 and the length of time required to recover, other regular health related issues, family deaths, and programmatic staffing changes which required time for orientation and training.