Networked for the Future

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Community of Hope, Inc.
City & State:
District of Columbia
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

Community of Hope's MissionImproving health and quality of life for low-income, homeless, and underserved families and individuals in the District of Columbia by providing healthcare, housing with supportive services, educational opportunities, and spiritual support.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Community of Hope was founded in 1975 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 1980. The agency provides healthcare and housing with supportive services to underserved, low-income and homeless families and individuals in Washington, DC. When Community of Hope obtained Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) status for its clinic and established a second housing site in 2006, the organization’s growth blossomed, along with the need to implement the right technologies. The challenge was to bring technology to the full staff, enabling them to better serve their rapidly growing patient and client base. With the help of NPower Greater DC, Community of Hope was able to implement Microsoft donations of Windows Server, Outlook and Office, giving the staff the ability to communicate with each other and with partner organizations. The impact was immediately felt across the whole organization.

Administration and Fundraising

As staff members prepare timesheets in Excel, administrative staff can not only accurately track and report time for staff whose salaries are covered by multiple grants, but ensure everyone gets paid on time. In development, applications for grants can be done more quickly – program staff share information on their work easily via email or access files on shared drives. Staff can also download standard personnel files.

Health Services

At the clinic, it is easier for staff to share information with each other, outside providers and insurance companies. Patient referrals to specialists can be logged and tracked in a central location. Clinic staff can also track how patients use the clinic, be it for immunizations only, prenatal care, or dental services. Networking and the use of Outlook save time for the staff and improve coordination and care of patients, which saves money for Community of Hope. Our FQHC status requires us to track exactly how we’re doing in meeting some of our patients’ health needs. Having the ability to communicate with one another enables us to meet those requirements in a timely fashion. For example, we know that 96% of the children who came to our clinic in 2008 received all their immunizations by their second birthday and that 64% of our adult patients with hypertension are controlling their blood pressure. Efficient handling of information means we can better serve the additional patients we are seeing as a result of the economic crisis. Community of Hope is now preparing to tackle the next wave of technology in the medical field – electronic medical records.


In housing, staff can now easily prepare client reports and case files, a necessity since the number of families who are homeless is growing rapidly -- an increase of 25% in January of 2009 over the previous year, according to a news report. And as families move from short-term housing to permanent housing, case managers can more easily share information. In 2008, Community of Hope added permanent housing to its mix of services, which helped more than double the staff (from 35 to 75 in the last four years) and added an additional office site for the new program. The permanent housing staff -- case managers and youth advocates -- are mobile for most of their work day, visiting families scattered in homes across the city. By the end of 2009, they will have a caseload totaling up to 55 families.

Overall, the number of people served in both our health services and housing programs has grown from 2,945 in 2006 to 4,146 in 2008. In 2009, we project we will serve 5,265 people.

Our next challenge will be to network every member of our staff – which we hope to do soon with our donation of Exchange Server.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Project Image