Learn how Contributors contribute to a healthy Outreach Grid Network!
Every Outreach Grid Network is composed of Contributors, Users, and Applicants. Contributors are community members who can create an account and report information to service agencies about individuals who may be experiencing homelessness or locations that may be homeless encampments.
This article will cover how contributors operate in and contribute to the network.
Contributing A Client
When you log into your Contributor account, you begin on the contributor dashboard. This dashboard is a bright orange color, to distinguish it from a user account. Here, you are given the option to add a new client or to add a new location.
On the navigation bar to the left, there are two other sections — "Client Reports" and "Encampment Reports". In the "Client Reports" section, there are two subcategories, "Submitted Clients" and "Submit A Client". The "Submit a Client" feature allows contributors to submit descriptive information and, if the contributor can obtain it, basic identifying information about the potential client.
After submitting the client, you can review the information you've submitted, as well as add any additional comments, images, or other media related to the client.
Viewing Submitted Clients
The "Submitted Clients" page has a list of all the clients that you have submitted for review to the network. It is separated into two tabs: "New" and "Reviewed By Network". "New" submitted clients are those that have yet to be associated by users. For clients in this category, you can continue to review the client and add additional comments and media.
When clients have been reviewed by users in the network, you will be notified in the "Reviewed By Network" tab. As these clients have now been incorporated to the platform, you will no longer have access to any information about the client.
Contributing A Camp
The "Encampment Reports" section has 3 subcategories: "Submitted Camps", "Submit a Camp", and "Submit by Image". We'll begin with "Submit a Camp".
This method allows you to use a map to mark the location of a possible encampment. You'll first be prompted to allow Outreach Grid access to your location. Enable your device or browser's location services to find your location on the map. After clicking the navigation arrow , the map will center on your location.
Use the balloon marker and drag a pin to the appropriate location on the map. After setting the location, give the camp a name and a description, and then hit the "Submit" button at the bottom of the page.
Submit By Image
To submit a camp by image, you will first need an image of the camp that is geotagged. You can take a picture using your mobile device with your location services enabled and save the photo to your device. Click the "Choose File" button and select the appropriate image file from your device's library.
When the image is uploaded, you will be taken to a page where you can edit the camps information. You'll see a map with a balloon marker at the location that is tagged by the photo. If the location needs to be updated, you can move the marker to the appropriate spot on the map. You can also add a name and leave a description about the camp.
Viewing Submitted Camps
Just like with "Submitted Clients", Contributors can view your "Submitted Camps" as well. The "Submitted Camps" page is separated into three tabs: "New", "Reviewed by Network", and "Closed by Network". When you first a contributed camp, it will be placed under the "New" heading.
Once your camp has been reviewed by a user in the network, the tag for the camp will be updated appropriately, and the camp can now be accessed under the "Reviewed By Network" tab. Unlike with clients, contributors can still access their contributed camps even after the camp has been reviewed by the network. You can continue to add additional media and descriptive information for the encampment to assist outreach workers.
When reviewing a contributed camp, users on the network may also choose to close the camp. For example, if a user on the network visits a contributed encampment and discovers that the area is now uninhabited or has been cleaned up, they may close the contributed camp. You will be notified that the camp has been closed in the tab "Closed by Network".
Community members serve as the eyes and ears on the ground to keep agencies notified of new cases of people experiencing homelessness and help keep the Network healthy and functioning. Users in the network are able to use information provided by contributors to better focus and target their outreach activities, allowing those who are experiencing homelessness to receive the services and shelter they need as quickly as possible. If you'd like to learn more about how users operate on the Outreach Grid Network, visit the Users documentation.