The death of a homeless woman from exposure on a frigid December night in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., jolted the resort community into action. “The local residents were shocked to learn of the largely invisible homeless (population) within the city,” says Leo Geoffrion, who joined the effort to find a solution.
With another cold spell expected in two days, local leaders gathered social agencies, churches and community groups together to create a Code Blue Shelter for emergency care during cold winter nights. “A church donated their hall, the local Red Cross came up with cots and local restaurants donated meals, but how to staff the shelter with no budget or time to hire personnel?” Geoffrion recalls.
That’s where SignUpGenius came in. The newly formed group created 20 roles and shifts the shelter needed and promoted the sign up through nonprofits and local media. “Overnight, all slots were filled accompanied by a waiting list for future nights,” Geoffrion says, who is now the group’s web master.
Code Blue Saratoga is approaching its third winter. Last year, it was in service 85 nights. “SignUpGenius enabled 326 different volunteers to fill a total of over 2,000 shifts ranging from setup teams, food servers, companions, clean-up and several others,” Geoffrion says. “Without the online sign up, it would have been nearly impossible to coordinate this number of volunteers via traditional telephone trees. SignUpGenius provides an interface to enable people to select volunteer slots and sign up in a very intuitive manner that everyone readily understood.”
SignUpGenius thanks Code Blue Saratoga for making a difference and saving lives. Helping others with SignUpGenius? We want to know. Share your story today!