Thursday, April 16, 2009

Software Links Victims with Shelter Beds

Software connects domestic violence victims with open shelter beds
Cornerstone, a Bloomington-based nonprofit with a mission to prevent domestic violence, is trying to go national with a service that allows domestic violence providers to share real-time information about who has open emergency beds.The program is called Day One, and it has been running in Minnesota for about a dozen years. In the rough and tumble world of nonprofit funding, it has had its ups and downs. This latest growth spurt could fulfill a dream of the late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who wanted to replicate the program for domestic violence shelters across the country.Day One connects 49 domestic violence shelters and safe houses across Minnesota. Seattle-area advocates learned of it and asked if they could try it in the King-Pierce-Snohomish county metro area. Cornerstone agreed to a test to see if the program could be expanded. It launched in October and the initial reaction is positive. (Short item here)

Expanding nationwide could have a double benefit. First, it could help domestic violence victims leave dangerous situations and more easily connect with services in other states where they might have family or other support systems. And for Cornerstone, the program could eventually generate profit to support its prevention programs.It is the latest story of a nonprofit trying to bolster the bottom line through entrepreneurship. Susan Neis, Cornerstone's executive director, said the program isn't making money yet, but that is the dream."We spend every waking moment trying to raise enough money to do the work we do," Neis said. "If there is an income-generating subsidiary you can create, it opens up lots of opportunities for you to continue to do innovative work."
Rest of story HERE

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