Microsoft Teamwork Helps Northwest Side Housing Center Thrive

Jul 14, 2017   |   Sean Washington, Director of Operations, Northwest Side Housing Center

As we all know, part of our work at Northwest Side Housing Center is reporting data to our funders. There was a time where we were triple-entering data into different data systems. This was a great headache for everyone involved. Enter Microsoft and their unique technology solutions. They were generous enough to help take on this headache.

When they heard of our issue at Chicago’s Do Good data conference, Microsoft posted details of the project on their shared worldwide website and used words that associate with the NWSHC, such as, “community oriented,” “social change,” and “justice.” The result: Microsoft employees from across the globe from Japan to Seattle, volunteering to help build the NWSHC a customized database to solve our data entry problem. This dream team of Microsoft volunteers took what would be a very long-term project and condensed it into a week! The results to this day are remarkable. Our data entry time has been cut in half and our team loves using the new system.

With the help and generosity from Microsoft, we’re more efficient serving the community that we care so deeply about. Today, we are in the process of getting this database approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which will be the first of its kind as a result of this one-of-a-kind partnership. Without the help of such a great partner like Microsoft, we’d probably be still searching for solutions to our headache. I’d like to thank Microsoft and the worldwide team of volunteers who pitched in countless hours to make this happen.

Sean Washington joined the Northwest Side Housing Center in 2013 and is responsible for all of the Financial reporting, compliance, and General Operations for the NWSHC. He also assists with staff management, development, and organizational meetings. Before joining the NWSHC, Sean served at various non-profit and foreclosure prevention agencies including ACORN Housing, Affordable Housing Centers of America, and Illinois Housing Development Authority. At each organization Sean held a leadership role in some capacity, and brings his experience in management and leadership to the NWSHC. Sean double majored in Psychology and Human Services during his studies at Upper Iowa University. He recently completed the HACE Leadership Academy, one of the graduates of the 2017 cohort. Sean currently resides in Forest Park with his spouse and their daughter, Corinne. They were married on Sweetest Day, October 20th, 2012 and bought their first home together on that same day four years later. Ironically, it was the house Sean’s wife grew up in as a child. Sean enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, along with playing and watching sports.

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