Community Helping Place Serves Constituents More Easily with its TouchSource Digital Kiosk

Author TouchSource

Community Helping Place Serves Constituents More Easily with its TouchSource Digital Kiosk

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The Community Helping Place (CHP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting people in need that live in Lumpkin County, Georgia. Its mission is to provide a variety of support services – and do so in a manner that is wrapped in both care and compassion. The group provides a food pantry, a free medical and dental clinic and emergency financial assistance for necessities such as rent and utilities. In addition, CHP provides important information and referrals to critical support services ranging from jobs to housing. The non-profit has been serving its local community for more than three decades and is now the largest outreach program in Lumpkin County.

CHP recently purchased TouchSource’s Telluride touch kiosk that was installed at its main facility in Dahlonega, Georgia. The kiosk features custom programing that enables visitors to access information direct from the kiosk, as well as a mobile directory function that allows multiple visitors to utilize the software at the same time. Visitors can now have easy, convenient access to information and documents on essential support services, community resources and a calendar of events. TouchSource recently spoke with Melissa Line, CHP executive director to hear more about how the organization and the people it serves have benefited from the new kiosk.

TouchSource: How important is getting information into the hands of visitors?community resources digital kiosk

Line: Everything we do at CHP is client-centered. So, it’s very important for us to connect with people in need so we can deliver the services they need in a rural community like ours. In years past, organizations like ours would assemble resource guides that could be distributed on a large scale. The biggest problem with these types of publications is the fact that it takes months to put them together and then distribute them, during which time some of the information becomes obsolete. Once they are printed it’s nearly impossible to go back and make last minute changes or corrections. We were looking for an innovative, real-time solution when we found TouchSource.

Can you share some of the reasons behind your decision to add a digital directory?

As we were looking into sustainable solutions for the future, we realized that printed material has a short life span in terms of the work we do. We wanted to spend our money on something that would outlast this grant funding and attract people to a new and unique format. In the past, we relied on printed materials and a website / social media presence. However, the trouble with just a website is that in a rural community like ours, technology is not available to all people. We have major broadband internet connectivity problems in north Georgia, and the rural setting where many of our clients live cuts them off from services that rely on personal devices to be utilized.

What made you choose the Telluride touch kiosk in particular?

A big selling point for us with the kiosk we chose was accessibility and mobility. In order for our kiosk to work, we needed to have one that could be moved to various places in the county where people gather, such as the hospital waiting room, public library, public schools and even the jail. Our goal was to establish a user-friendly, up-to-date resource kiosk that could be easily updated and taken to places where people will interact with it.

Are there any reasons why you chose a TouchSource product specifically?

In the planning phase, I reached out to three different vendors. Customer service is very important to me, and I was impressed with how quickly the staff at TouchSource reached out to me and started helping me with the decision-making process. The other two companies didn’t follow up very well. One company had me interact with a virtual assistant online, and I never spoke to a real person. The second company never followed up at all. I feel really blessed to have found TouchSource, because the process was very smooth and staff was very helpful.

What are some of the biggest benefits you have seen since installing the kiosk?

The unit itself attracts attention because it looks high tech and sleek. We like the fact that our kiosk was customized with our message, and it is easy to sanitize, which is important right now.

Can you share any info on the savings or return on investment that you expect from the purchase versus the cost of printing information?

In 2019, before I came on staff, our organization purchased 2,500 resource guides for a total printing price of $7,500. This cost did not include the price paid to the graphics designer who put together the book. Within two months of distributing the resource guides, we learned that one of our biggest partner agencies had been left out of the directory completely, and the phone number had been printed incorrectly for another one. It was a very frustrating time to know that these resource guides were not going to direct clients to everything we intended. Choosing instead to develop a kiosk with TouchSource is a sound financial investment because it did not cost much more than the one-time paper guides, and it will outlast the paper guides for many years to come.

What feedback have you received from visitors about their experience with the directories?

We have placed the kiosk in our free clinic for the first 10 weeks while we were learning how to use it best. It has now moved to the jail where we are using a contest for a Visa gift card to capture surveys and first impressions on the use of the kiosk. Some of the most common comments have been “easy and fun to use”, and “I learned something new today.”

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