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2021 Philanthropy Recap: Increasing Our Global Impact

We’re Giving Freedom to People Worldwide

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted our lives, effectively pushing those already on the margins to an even greater point of vulnerability. Previously identified populations require more assistance, making the fight to end injustice and poverty increasingly vital.

Even though IntelliTect already gives away the majority of our profit, we chose to go further this year. In 2021, we significantly increased our donations and expanded the number of organizations we partner with to ensure equity.

Partnering with Family Promise of Spokane

Homelessness acts as an increasing hardship within our local community. Roughly 3,400 kindergarten through twelfth-grade students are experiencing homelessness on any given night in Spokane, making shelters and rental assistance crucial. The current housing crisis and population increase in Spokane have only exacerbated the already existing issue.  

One organization working to provide the necessary services for combatting homelessness is Family Promise of Spokane (FPS), a local non-profit that offers low-barrier housing for homeless families.

In 2021, FPS remodeled the lower level of their Emergency Shelter to include an additional living space and eighty extra beds. FPS secured four additional buildings and purchased their Infant Shelter to further support families in Spokane County. More so, they completed the construction and implementation of the Housing Assistance Portal (HAP), their rental assistance technology.

“We are excited about our growing partnership with IntelliTect,” Joe Ader, Executive Director at FPS, said. “Their support has allowed us to continue to invest in our rental assistance technology — which has helped more than 3500 people from becoming homeless — and also invest in our shelter management system, which, when complete, will help hundreds of people move out of homelessness each year.”

Addressing Rental Assistance

According to the 2021 data released from FPS, $3,249 ends homelessness for an entire family. This financial assistance places parents and their children back on the path to autonomy. FPS is uniquely successful because it processes rental assistance through an automated system. This automation expedites getting people the help they need with housing.

Although financial assistance plays a significant role in making a family self-sufficient, FPS decided to look further. Leveraging twenty-four years of experience fighting homelessness and examining their data in such work, FPS identified that having a social security card is the most significant factor in securing stable housing. Without a social security card for every family member, virtually no housing services are available. Therefore, efforts to find or re-acquire a social security card are the most critical in moving to independence.

Above: One of many families from Family Promise of Spokane successfully placed in housing. Photo courtesy of Family Promise of Spokane.

FPS has successfully made progress on a problem no one else is attacking, ending generational poverty, and providing long-term assistance. After placing a family into housing, FPS continues to ensure their well-being by tracking them on a case-by-case basis.

The well-executed system designed by FPS is shockingly efficient, effectively providing families the resources to stop car hopping and keep their kids out of foster care.

Our Global Contributions Through IJM in Lake Volta, Ghana

One of the projects closest to Mark Michaelis’ heart fights to end the enslavement of children in Lake Volta, Ghana. IntelliTect’s partnership with the International Justice Mission (IJM) started in 2014, with our donations sponsoring a study on child trafficking. After looking into the situation in Lake Volta, IJM developed a field office in the area.

Over the decade or so that IntelliTect has worked with IJM, I’ve appreciated their diligent focus on fighting for human rights among those who are downtrodden while at the same time thinking carefully about where to effectively apply their efforts.
Mark Michaelis, IntelliTect CEO

Child trafficking occurs at alarming rates in Lake Volta due to children living in extreme poverty without guidance or support from parental figures. Boat captains in need of cheap labor capitalize on these children’s desperation and innocence, promising protection, food, and housing in exchange for work. However, rather than following through on these promises, the boat captains effectively trap children in slavery, stripping them of their freedom and humanity.

After conducting the study that we sponsored, IJM developed a strategy for tackling the problem in a systematic, strategic manner. Their work in Lake Volta primarily involves visiting with local officials and training legislators, law enforcement, lawyers, and government officials on establishing and implementing laws to protect their communities. This multi-pronged approach of educating, informing, training, and implementing enables local officials to monitor their communities long after IJM leaves the area.

Changing the Justice System

IJM aims to create a legacy of ethics, encouraging individuals to break the pattern by abiding by the law. The emphasis on education and setting an expectation for prosecution breaks the cycle of injustice. These community-enforced guidelines impact freed individuals and influence families to protect their children.

IJM’s success derives from persistence in changing the justice system. Hiring local attorneys to educate their communities and prosecute violations radically impacts the people living there. This experience has set them up for a new phase, in which IJM aims to impact half a billion people through partnerships with organizations like IntelliTect.

Curious About Our Other Partnerships?

Family Promise of Spokane and IJM are two of many organizations IntelliTect supports. Check out our philanthropy map to see our complete list of projects. Take a look at our 2020 philanthropy update for more information about our past projects.

Written by Nicole Glidden.

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