A three-year matching grant totaling $78,558 was recently awarded to Community Missions of Niagara Frontier Inc. by The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation as a part of its annual technology initiative.
CMI was founded in 1925 and, since that time, has developed a wide range of programs to help those in need throughout the Niagara community. Today, the agency operates 18 programs across its four divisions, employing more than 130 full- and part-time workers.
"We are thrilled that the agency has received this wonderful gift from The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation," said Robyn L. Krueger, executive director of Community Missions. "As a nonprofit service organization, our day-to-day focus has been, and will always continue to be, helping those in need. This gift will allow us to address an important area of our own agency's infrastructure in a comprehensive way that will allow all of our staff to work more efficiently, and effectively, with each other and those we partner with to support those in need."
Don Matteson, the Tower Foundation's chief program officer, said, "Technology infrastructure is becoming more important for all providers, and the Tower Foundation believes that investing in that infrastructure is an important part of helping our partners do their best work. We're happy to be working with Community Missions to help them serve the community."
The Tower Foundation's technology initiative is a two-step process that funds both assessment and implementation phases. Community Missions was awarded an assessment grant in 2012 and, after reviewing the findings, was invited to apply for the implementation grant earlier this year. The comprehensive plan submitted to the foundation was then approved earlier this summer, allowing funds to be made available to begin the process.
The upgrade includes six major areas relating to the agency's technology structure. The first steps of the plan include the reconditioning of the existing information technology office into a server room, the building of a new agency website, and the installation of a wireless access system. Further steps in the process will include the purchase of two ESXi servers, a vCenter server, VMWare, XenApp software and thin-client workstations.
"Community Missions operates a number of different facilities throughout Niagara County, and providing comprehensive technology solutions to each of them have proven difficult," said Grant Babcock, Community Missions director of operations. "A key component of our funding comes through Medicaid billing, which is generated through a software program. Providing more reliable solutions for our staff to address these needs will help us ensure funding so our clients get the best possible care now, and in the future."
While initial funds have been made available, further funds will be awarded once matching donations are secured. The implementation is structured to take place over a three-year period. The timetable, however, can be adjusted as needed.
In 2012, CMI provided more than 70,000 meals and more than 9,000 nights of care within its crisis services programs. Additional agency programs serve adults and youth with psychiatric disabilities, parolees, at-risk youth and other underserved populations in both residential and recovery-orientated settings.
For more information on the services and programs provided by Community Missions, visit www.communitymissions.org or connect via Facebook or Twitter.
The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation seeks to support community programming that will result in children, adolescents and young adults affected by substance abuse, learning disabilities, mental illness and intellectual disabilities achieving their full potential.
For more information, call 716-689-0370 or visit www.thetowerfoundation.org.