DHS's flawed resources list for domestic violence survivors

A woman and her baby walk through their new home on Wednesday, May 2, 2012. (Stacey Wescott/ Chicago Tribune)

Domestic violence survivors looking for help can call Jane Addams Hull House, according to the Department of Human Services’ web site.

But there’s one problem.

The historic non-profit organization closed its doors in 2012.

This is only one of multiple difficulties with the site.

This year at Hoy we are investigating the issue of domestic violence in immigrant communities.

Last week we published a list of resources from the DHS site and began a survey of the organizations to understand the services they provide, to see if they record the number of immigrants served and to learn about their challenges and accomplishments.

We prepared a survey of 10 questions and sent it to all the email addresses listed on the site.

There were 31 addresses, but only 24 of them worked.

After receiving the rejected emails, we went to the individual web sites of all the organizations.

We located 11 additional emails and contacted the people at those addresses.

The same issue occurred with the organizational web sites listed by the department.

There were 25 of them.

But we discovered an additional 20 organizations when we took the time to put the name of every organization in Google.

DHS spokesman Tom Green explained that every division of the department’s website has an administrator. The division of Family and Community Resources is responsible for the list of providers, he said.

That division was the product of a 2012 merger between the Community Health and Prevention and Human Capital Development divisions, Green said.

Marilena Frier is domestic violence program director for Quanada, a non-profit organization that provides services in downstate counties Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike and Schuyler.

Frier said her organization receives many more clients from word-of-mouth than from the department’s web site. She added that her organization is contacted each year by DHS to see if the information listed on its web site.

The explanation of the process does not answer the question of why the department struggled to complete a task that can be done with several hours of Internet searching and follow up calls.

Here is the revised list.

We welcome any additional information you may have.


El autor

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein es Editor de Bases de Datos e Investigaciones Vívelohoy

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