11 May Three Local Nonprofits Team to Create One Stop Online Pasadena Help Center
A new online database that is to serve as Pasadena’s unofficial one stop help center for residents and City personnel launches Thursday thanks to a collaboration between three local organizations who want to make Pasadena more accessible than ever before.
The new website, PasadenaHelp.org, was developed by members of Leadership Pasadena, The Junior League and Fuller Theological Seminary, with help from the City. It is a new, interactive web resource directory with a mission to to promote and provide access to the resources available to those seeking help with job searching, health and wellness, family services, food and housing and other life assistance in the greater San Gabriel Valley area.
The comprehensive directory that intends to make seeking services accessible through a user-friendly platform launches after nearly two years of development.
“There are so many organizations and services in Pasadena that finding what you need can be difficult.” said Jennifer Allan Goldman, President of Junior League of Pasadena. “The JLP is so excited to be working with city services, community members, Fuller Theological Seminary and graduates from Leadership Pasadena to create a lasting online directory for our communities to utilize when and where they need it.
The PasadenaHelp.org directory provides information to over 130 community organizations that is easily accessible by category of service, location, and specific requirements.
Collaborations between three community organizations that include Leadership Pasadena, The Junior League and Fuller Theological Seminary.
“We have three organizations that instead of going on their own in their own little silos have come together and made this thing better than any of us could have done individually. So now, it is a full blown partnership. It’s the model of a way to collaborate,” said Leadership Pasadena Executive Director Cynthia Bengston Budzyn.
The organizations decided to join forces in creating what would become Pasadenahelp.org after discovering they were independently working on a similar database idea.
According to Bengston Budzyn, there was a need to create a comprehensive and user friendly database.
“The idea was to design a simple to use web portal, not an app that requires you to download things, but a portal that anybody in the public or the City could go to and very easily search for social services to meet their need,” explained Bengston Budzyn.
“This makes it possible for literally a person on the street to grab a phone or go to the library and instantly find all the options that are here in Pasadena and the surrounding area,” said Bengston Budzyn.
The portal supplies more than just a phone number and address like traditional directory databases. It also provides content such as organization descriptions, service requirements such as bringing and identification card and a GPS mapping to the location that shows hours and more.
“You’re not going to waste your time going to the wrong places, which you might do if you just go look in a phone book or google something random,” said Bengston Budzyn.
This online database is the first of it’s kind to exist dedicated to services based in Pasadena.
The City of Pasadena provided interns through the Summer Rose Program to aid in research and development for collecting information about community organizations.
“I think this project is a great example of how organizations in Pasadena can come together and work for the common good,” said Sofia Herrera, Director of Fuller Seminary’s Office of Urban Initiatives.
“We realized that we had to bring a database into the 21st century,” said Herrera about making the database the first one to be available online,” Herrera added.
The site is available in multiple languages for non-English speaking members of the community and can be accessed from a desktop browser or mobile phone.
Although this project was not sponsored or developed by the City, it will be a useful tool anticipated to be utilized by City personnel.
“It will indirectly benefit the City to allow it to be another layer and way to direct information,” said Leadership Pasadena memeber Pam Burton.
Burton was a helpful link in the backend of developing the website due to her experience as a project manager for the City’s IT department and was able to recruit web developers to carry out the construction of the digital database.
“I’m sure in no time soon we will have an app,” said Burton about the expected next phase of the database.
The Junior League will be the host of this directory and it is committed to its maintenance and sustainability in the future.
The Junior League will handle the maintenance and sustainability of the database and will be headed by an advisory board to ensure it continues to operate and stay updated.
There are several other organizations that are expected to be updated into the database this year, as many as 800, according to Bengston Budzyn.
“The information is going to be continually reviewed and updated and as people hear about it there is going to be a mechanism to contact the website and enter their information,” said Bengston Budzyn.
For more information, visit http://pasadenahelp.org.