When someone is overcoming barriers to employment, there is likely not a single place that offers that person everything they may need. That person may start with one organization and then be referred to another organization. Or many organizations. Job training, job placement, housing assistance, healthcare – all of these and more may need to be provided by separate disparate agencies and non-profits.
There are a number of challenges for the serving organizations in this model. For one, there are multiple views of the person being helped. The job training organization has one view of the client. The job placement another, the healthcare provider another, and so on. This makes it hard to get a 360-degree view of the client and provide the best coordinated services.
Another issue is tracking impact. Every non-profit wants to improve the condition of their clients. And every non-profit wants to track that improvement. In fact, their future funding may depend on it. When they don’t know what happens to their client when they graduate their program or leave their care, they don’t know the effect they may have had.
In an era where data is everywhere, and where data is everything, service organizations should be able to use this data in a coordinated way, with the client at the center, to fulfill their collective missions. That is where Solve Smart Cities come in.
I met Matt Strauss, founder and CEO of Solve Smart Cities, about a year ago. A creative and compassionate young man with a background in entrepreneurship, Matt wanted to solve these issues for service organizations in general, starting with those focused on job training and placement. He felt strongly that Chicago was the right place to do this. Please join me as I interview Matt on Big Shoulders.