Staffing challenges at the HUD Kentucky Office provided a unique opportunity to leverage an innovative partnership to improve customer service by assisting individuals in need of immediate assistance with a new technological invention called LouieConnect.
Metro United Way and the Family Scholar House, one of HUD's designated EnVision Centers partnered to create LouieConnect. When someone uses LouieConnect, the web-based app asks for basic information and then lists applicable resources nearby that provide a multitude of assistance options ÔÇö from food pantries and homeless shelters, to career centers and financial literacy programs.
Last year, during a tour of Family Scholar House, the Kentucky Field Office Director and staff were given a demonstration of the unique, self-help, electronic kiosks equipped with the LouieConnect App. When the discussion steered towards the plan for strategic placement of the kiosks around the city, the HUD Kentucky Office staff immediately turned newfound awareness into an opportunity to serve customers visiting HUD.
"Our office takes great pride in serving the public. When we lose the resources required to provide a sufficient level of service to those who need it most, it is not good enough to sit on our hands and wait for whether or not staff will be replaced. With this new partnership and technology at our disposal, we can both assist people right away and we can provide them with resources that are more than just housing related," said Peter Jackson, the HUD Kentucky Field Office Director.
"Family Scholar House is proud to collaborate with HUD through creative solutions like LouieConnect.com that provide meaningful, innovative support for our community," said Cathe Dykstra, CEO and Chief Possibility Officer for Family Scholar House.
So far, HUD staff has received very positive feedback on the kiosks, as they seem to be making a positive impact on the people being served and on employee morale around the office.
"Coordinating with the HUD Field Policy Management (FPM) team to accomplish this endeavor has been so rewarding for me. As an Admin employee, we work mostly ÔÇśbehind the scenes' and may not always see the fruits of our labor. This will give me the ability to see first-hand how we can provide additional resources to low-income families throughout the Louisville area. Not only will this be a great resource for our clients, but for me as well," said Jenna Sappenfield, a Management and Budget Analyst from HUD Office of Administration, who was influential in placing the kiosk in the office.