Access to ID
Street Health is a non-profit community based agency that improves the health of homeless and under-housed people in Toronto. Their work is focused in the neighbourhood around Dundas and Sherbourne Streets, an area with the largest concentration of homeless shelters and drop-in centres in Canada. One of their largest programs is Access to ID, which helps people recover their ID, and provides a safe place to store their ID.
Street Health clients live on the margins of society, and one of their biggest challenges is to have proper identification. They may not have their ID, whether that be a birth certificate, health card or others. In addition, they provide a service where clients can safely store their ID. Street Health wanted a system to manage ID application requests. A separate service is to store ID for clients, so that it can be kept in a safe place.
Street Health wanted to merge three separate, outdated Access Databases to have a one new online system that could handle the administration of ID needs of their clients. It was also important to have the ability to update the system through only a web browser and that all of the data be as secure as possible.
Northern Village undertook a thorough review of the existing management system for the Access to ID program. This included:
- Review the current ID Software Applications in detail
- Analyze current data structure to ensure all information will be in new application, and ensure it can be ported over when the new application is done
- Create the ID Request Management System including:
- Manage application requests, including its status, and all communication including government responses, and client inquiries
- Track if the ID is going to be picked up at a remote location
- Store documents related to the request
- Report on the use of the system
- Devise and execute data migration, including OLE objects and attachments of over 20,000 records.
- Create ID Safe system for the storage of ID including:
- Using webcam for photo of client to ensure their identity when picking up ID
- Save all ID that is stored as separate items
- Record all ID that is checked out, and keep as a transaction record
- Ability to add notes
- Have the ability to see overview of client activity
- Test after each component is complete.
- Train staff on the use of the software, and the ability to train clients on the use of the system
- Start testing, running new system in parallel.
Northern Village programmed the software in Ruby on Rails, ensuring that it works of all screens and accessiblity devices.