One of the hidden costs to the poor is lost time.
Those who need help with basic life necessities, who must utilize the social services department, food give-aways, and such simply to make it from day to day often spend an inordinate amount of time waiting. Sitting in line. Repeating their story three and four times. Losing hour upon hour in ways that others do not understand.
In some cases that is time away from family, in others that is time that could better be spent looking for employment. In a few cases that is time an ill person should have at home, recovering from a sickness or dealing with a physical ailment.
That is why it is heartening to see the local department of social services implementing a new program which could eliminate a good bit of this time loss for clients.
The program utilizes software which allows many clients to complete eligibility questionnaires online, with the same answers recorded for multiple programs. That should eliminate the need for a person to have to give the same information on multiple occasions. It also means clients and prospective clients can do much of the work from home, without the cost of a trip to social services, and most of all without the time lost standing or sitting in line.
There are sure to be some problems along the way. This is a new system, meaning local social service workers will have a bit of a learning curve. Probably things will be done incorrectly at first, or at least not work the way expected. Any time there is a change such occurrences happen.
In the long run, however, this system will allow for a smoother, less time-consuming process for those in need of services, and will make the work run more efficiently for those working in social services.
All-in-all, this sounds like a good program for all involved, and the department, along with the county officials who supported its implementation, are to be commended for moving to the new software program.