Transforming People’s Lives with Apps, One Family at a Time

Toronto WoodGreen

Dan Israel, Vlocity VP and General Manager, Public Sector, Discusses a Unique Private/Public Partnership Among the City of Toronto, WoodGreen Community Services, Deloitte, Salesforce and Vlocity to Help Syrian Refugees Entering Canada get the Support and Services they Need to Begin a New Life.

The conflict in Syria has displaced millions of Syrian people, half of whom are children—making it one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today. While most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East, some are making their way to North America in search of a fresh start.

The Canadian government will receive 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of March, and it is now focusing on how the newly arrived are settling in and getting the support they need.

How does software come into this equation? Vlocity partnered with the City of Toronto, WoodGreen Community Services, Deloitte, and Salesforce to deploy Vlocity’s innovative Public Sector application to help match Syrian refugees entering Canada with vitally-needed assistance including housing, goods and services. Based on Salesforce’s world-leading Customer Success platform, WoodGreen’s H.O.M.E. portal (Housing Opportunities & Marketplace Exchange) allows business and individual donors to post available resources to help the arriving refugees.

The team stood up the app in less than four weeks—a feat largely made possible by the speed and ease-of-deployment of Industry Cloud apps. As we see time and again with our customers, using pre-built apps with deep vertical functionality leads to shorter project timelines, reduced risk and quick time-to-value. In this case, the benefits of moving fast were even more important. With 10,000 Syrian refugees already in Canada and needing immediate support, including housing, it was critical to get the portal up-and-running as soon as possible.

While technology is a great enabler, the speed of this project was only made possible through

the tremendous teamwork and collaboration of everyone involved. Salesforce, Deloitte, WoodGreen and others all stepped up with truly exceptional contributions that continue today. Additionally, the work that Vlocity is doing with Canada’s Region of Peel to build a Social Housing app with similar features, provided a valuable head start in developing the intake forms and refugee portal for WoodGreen.

We are proud of this partnership, and happy our industry-specific apps are making a difference in the lives of people in need of vital support during what is obviously a trying time. “We Give Back” is a core value at Vlocity, and we look for ways to live this value in the work we do each and every day.

How about you? Are there ways to use technology more effectively to help those in need? We’d love to hear your thoughts.