Empowering Change: How Guaranteed Income Programs and AWARDS Drive Transformation

Two of our clients in California, Unity Care Group (UCG) and Bill Wilson Center, have secured funding for a program designed to provide guaranteed income to foster kids experiencing homelessness. This is especially noteworthy as guaranteed income programs are gaining traction. Ever wondered what a guaranteed income program entails? Also recognized as universal basic income (UBI) or guaranteed minimum income, it’s a social welfare initiative where individuals receive a consistent, unconditional sum of money from a government or public institution, without any stipulations on its use. The aim is to ensure that everyone, regardless of their employment status or financial condition, has a minimum income to cover essential living expenses. Advocates believe these programs can significantly combat poverty, reduce inequality, and provide financial stability to individuals and families.

A unique funding opportunity

For Unity Care Group, the guaranteed income program seamlessly aligns with their 2021 finalized strategic plan, reinforcing UCG’s commitment to enhancing the success of foster youth. The organization has long maintained a focus on addressing the needs of foster kids, and their strategic plan further emphasizes providing essential housing and support to help these youth overcome trauma and attain self-sufficiency. This grant presents an exciting opportunity for UCG as it aligns perfectly with their strategic vision in overcoming the housing challenges faced by foster kids, particularly in California where housing costs are notably high. Guaranteed Income Programs serve as a strategic avenue for UCG to realize their organizational vision.

Bringing awareness to Guaranteed Income Programs, it is important to highlight how Unity Care Group (UCG) is utilizing AWARDS to ensure funder compliance. Funder compliance is crucial for provider organizations, and having an Electronic Health Record  and case management system like AWARDS that meets the needs of funders and ensures compliance is essential. Deb Miller, Director of Compliance at UCG, emphasizes the significance, stating, “If it’s not in AWARDS, it didn’t happen.” This approach aligns perfectly with our ethos at Foothold Technology. We aim to work collaboratively, ensuring our software functions in tandem with our clients’ needs. For UCG, this involves configuring AWARDS to capture essential data for accurate reporting to funders.

Partners to help with new funding opportunity

At Foothold Technology, each client is assigned a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) throughout their partnership with us. Whether our clients prefer hands-on support or more independence, our CSM’s provide tailored assistance. For UCG, their Customer Success Manager, Erin, has been instrumental in guiding them through the configuration process, ensuring data capture aligns with their funding requirements. Although the details of the program with the city of San Jose are pending finalization, UCG is still moving ahead with configuration. Deb Miller expresses “every confidence that we (UCG) can use AWARDS with the intent that again everything we do needs to be in AWARDS because we need to report off of everything for our grants and our contracts.” AWARDS’ adaptability provides UCG confidence that any adjustments requested by the city can be accommodated seamlessly. As they finalize the program, UCG trusts AWARDS to handle modifications as needed, showcasing the software’s flexibility and our commitment to ensuring our clients’ success. This collaborative approach proves beneficial for all stakeholders involved. UCG can confidently explore innovative funding opportunities, reassured that their EHR will support them in both securing and ensuring compliance.