How the Findley Foundation Has Made a Difference in a Crisis
People on the margins of society tend to suffer more than others during a crisis. Staff at the Findley Foundation know this better than anyone.
The non-profit supports the disadvantaged, underemployed, and underserved in Wisconsin’s Milwaukee County. Many of its clients have a history of trauma. They need the Findley Foundation’s case management and health services to help them heal, while others take advantage of its vocational training programs to become work ready.
“We want to be able to provide them with the range of resources they need to go forward and be successful,” says Vice Chair of the Board Stephanie Findley.
But COVID-19 lockdowns left the Findley Foundation struggling to deliver its services.
To make sure people had access to support and care, the foundation decided to turn many of its services virtual. Its switch to BlueJeans Meetings from a previous platform turned out to be the catalyst it needed to make this shift happen.
“We had no idea how BlueJeans Meetings would impact our organization until we started using it,” says Stephanie Findley.
Making a Bigger Impact
From its virtual clinic to its classroom, the foundation transformed the way it provided its services. Community members have continued to access vital support — including alcohol and other drug abuse treatment services — even during the strictest of lockdowns.
“Without our video conferencing platform, we would not have been able to service all patients when we had to greatly reduce the capacity of our clinic in 2020,” says Stephanie Findley. “By switching to telehealth via BlueJeans, our community continued to get primary care, counseling, and more at a time when these services were needed most.”
Shifting to virtual learning has likewise improved accessibility and participation in vocational training and education services.
According to Findley, transportation is a big issue for many of the foundation’s students. They sometimes don’t have the means to attend classes in person.
“But with the option to join via BlueJeans Meetings, our student attendance is up. In fact, the two classes that have graduated since our implementation had 100% participation.”
The ease of using BlueJeans Meetings and features like screen sharing and the raise hand and chat functions have enabled teachers to recreate classroom settings in a far more accessible way.
Internally, switching to BlueJeans Meetings has eliminated staff’s frustration of trying to work through complex systems and platforms. They’ve been using the BlueJeans solution for weekly meetings with ease. Board meetings have also moved to the platform.
BlueJeans Meetings came with the foundation’s Verizon subscription. So, for a small incremental fee per month, the non-profit has been able to train more clients while cutting its video conferencing subscription costs by 82%.
Cost savings mean there’s more money to spend where it matters.
Enhancing Its Ability to Provide Care
As COVID-19 restrictions lift, the foundation continues to improve its capabilities to deliver care and provide mental health services via BlueJeans Meetings. Better capabilities can make all the difference in a crisis.
“We had, for example, a case of a suicidal client that led to a commotion and the police responding,” says Findley. “Through BlueJeans Meetings, we counseled the client and successfully prevented the attempt.”
Typical barriers like lack of transportation and childcare problems no longer get in the way of learning and accessing support, giving marginalized individuals a better chance in life.
With help from BlueJeans, the Findley Foundation has stayed connected with members of its community in a time of crisis.
“BlueJeans has been a real jewel for us.”
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