When Steve Martinez saw ATB’s state-of-technology report in the early stages of 2020, he knew that St. Vincent Home for Children could do better.
The Background: Outdated Technology in a Pandemic
Steve is the Chief Development Officer at St. Vincent Home for Children, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping youth facing significant life challenges through love, security, and therapeutic supports that enable them to improve their lives, their families, and their communities.
The organization has always adapted to meet those goals; originally founded as an orphanage in 1850 to help children displaced by fires and cholera, St. Vincent is now a residential treatment center offering a wide range of mental health services for youth in need. But as the organization entered the early stages of the pandemic, they faced a troubling new challenge. Based on a strategic technology assessment by ATB, out of the 43 technology assets St. Vincent owned, 37 were out of date.
“We knew that we had to do better,” says Steve. “As COVID forced us to pivot from face-to-face counseling services into telehealth, we saw that our staff were needing to use their personal computers. And that was a reason for concern.”
The reality was that St. Vincent had been outfitted for in-person service, not for remote work. Their brick building made Wi-Fi access spotty. They lacked a centralized file storage system. And they weren’t equipped with unified communications. All of this made providing remote mental health services difficult.
The Grant Proposal: Hard Work and Strategic Advice
Steve led the development team that went to work looking for remedies. The development team quickly found a grant program through the St. Louis Cares Humanitarian Response Program, a federally funded initiative with a technology category meant to help nonprofits in the wake of the pandemic. After consulting with his team and with ATB, St. Vincent’s decided to apply.
They set to work creating a proposal.
“We worked hard to create a really good proposal,” says Steve, “and Chris was a huge help in that.”
Using ATB’s report as a starting point, the development team worked to outline St. Vincent’s technology needs.
“Chris was available to answer any questions,” explains Steve. “He helped us to outline the specifications and costs of the technology we were looking at, and he also provided recommendations on solutions like Microsoft Teams.”
After a few weeks of hard work and collaboration with ATB, the development team submitted the proposal. They didn’t have to wait long to find out the results.
The Results: A Well-Deserved Reward
“They got back to us quickly and let us know they’d selected us for the grant funding,” Steve recalls. “When I heard they were giving us $92,000, my jaw dropped.”
Latosha Fowlkes, Executive Director for St. Vincent said, “I am honored to be surrounded by such outstanding development and leadership teams and appreciate everyone’s effort in this partnership with ATB Technologies.”
With the grant, St. Vincent will be able to revamp their technology assets to make their services remote-ready. “We will use the funds for new laptops and desktops for their employees, new tablets for their clients, new Wi-Fi drops to improve internet in the facilities, and to set up Microsoft Teams to make team communications easier,” says Steve.
Having these initiatives properly defined was important in bringing them to life. “The grant program actually told me that working with a specialist helped us to win the award,” says Steve. “It was really important that we partnered with ATB.”
“I look forward to working with ATB to implement these changes,” says Latosha.
At ATB, we’re excited for St. Vincent and for the impact of these technologies. For an organization that’s spent over 170 years serving its community, receiving the funding to continue serving into the future is a just reward.
We’re honored to partner with St. Vincent in helping them accomplish their mission through the strategic use of technology, and we look forward to helping them support youth in St. Louis for years to come.