Thursday, February 02, 2006

Program Review: Voice Mail

2005 Golden Phone Award Winner

Cleveland Community Voice Mail had a big year in 2005 with a move, technology upgrade, a hurricane, and a few accolades. CCVM celebrated five years of operation in Cleveland, and then found that they were asked to leave their headquarters of the last five years. CCVM found a place in the Westown neighborhood, and had to upgrade the system that provides the messages to homeless people. This involved kicking everyone off the system, shutting the old one down and starting fresh. With this new system we were only able to serve 2,200 people (about half of a typical year.)

Voice Mail helped with the Katrina evacuees by providing a 1-800 number to those who came to Cleveland. This allowed them to keep in touch with family members from around the country. CVM expanded its program in Lorain County by serving a larger number of agencies and individuals. With the expansion, we were able to provide local numbers in Lorain County instead of the 1-800 numbers. The new system will also allow us to expand to the rest of Ohio without the huge costs that were a barrier in the past.

Program Director, Mike Gibbs, was selected for the national board of the Community Voice Mail Program starting in 2006. The big news of the last year was the Cleveland program was awarded the Golden Phone Award by the national group in Seattle. There are 34 Voice Mail programs in the United States. The program has big plans for 2006.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

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