This past week, we partnered with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute information about the peanut-containing product recall to our clients. Thus far, we've directly reached more than 10,000 homeless or low-income people in 24 cities who don't have a reliable phone, but who do have a Community Voice Mail number. We've also provided this information to over 400 social service agencies who provide CVM voice mail boxes to their clients.
How did we do this? We used our technology and our (human) network. Using our voice mail system, we delivered a broadcast voice message written by the CDC to the voice mail boxes of 10,000 of our clients. We also sent the same information in text form to more than 1,000 CVM clients who have provided us with their email addresses. Our CVM Managers contacted the 400 social service agencies by email and through broadcast voice messaging (every case manager in our network gets a voice mail box). We posted the messages on all the CVM blogs as well. It was easy. (Click here to listen to the broadcast voice message our CVM Manager in Tulsa, Oklahoma sent to her 450 active clients.)
People who don't have a phone, a stable place to live or a stable life don't always hear about important information that is assumed to be ubiquitous. As our Houston CVM manager (Scot) learned last year, many people living on the streets there didn't even know that Hurricane Ike was approaching, and his broadcast voice message about seeking shelter probably saved lives. We hope that these messages about the peanut product recall help our clients (and their friends/loved ones) stay safe. Many have already told us by return voice message that they hadn't heard about the recall, and would check their food against the CDC list.
In the future, we hope do more communication work with CDC, the FDA and other partners to disseminate important information to a population that is very difficult to reach. If you have information of value to lower-income and homeless people that you'd like to get out, email or call (206-441-7872) us.