Tracking system ensures donations go where needed
BATON ROUGE - In addition to providing free meals and clothes, St. Vincent de Paul helps pay for utilities, rent and even prescription drugs, but only for those truly in need.
"There's only so much dollars for helping to prevent homelessness or to avoid eviction," says Micheal Acaldo, St. Vincent de Paul CEO.
Acaldo says St. Vincent de Paul is one of several charities in Baton Rouge that use a program to tracks who's getting what, when and where.
"It allows us to go in and see how much assistance a family has received so that insures there's no duplication of effort, " he explains.
Charity administrators say only a small percentage of people try to double up on services, but just those few bad apples can take away resources from people who really need it.
"If we have to put in more money because they're getting assistance from somewhere else it kinda convolutes the whole system," says Major Stephen Long of Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is also linked in with other charities in town to make sure those they help, are legitimate. Long says with these programs in place, organizations can concentrate on their real purpose.
"The more money available to help more people the better off the system will be," says Long.
40 other charities in greater Baton Rouge use a tracking system.