We are very pleased to announce the launch of a completely redesigned National Respite Locator service for our veteran non-profit client CHTOP, this program "...helps parents, family caregivers, and professionals find respite services in their state and local area to match their specific needs." Originally this database and its basic Web-search interface was a 100% proprietary design (which was perfectly natural ten years ago). Such custom designs lead to serious support issues as there's only a handful of people who know what is going on. In the absence of proper documentation any support task turns into a back-engineering saga. Not to mention that add-ons and security updates always require major efforts.
Allora first consulted CHTOP on potential development and support routes helping the supervisors of Respite Locator program make a smart decision to migrate onto a standardized platform thus reaching hundreds of IT support options and built-in maintenance in the future. Given that the mother-ship website is running on Joomla the choice naturally had fallen onto CiviCRM - open source Contact Relation Management extension for Joomla - a very popular pick by non-profit organizations.
You're welcome to check out this service in action:
It is worth noting that CiviCRM successfully handled the import job of ~5000 respite providers around US and Canada, each bearing approximately 60 custom properties in addition to standard information like phones and addresses. The search Interface allows one to narrow down the search based on custom properties of a Respite Program as well as proximity conditions (standard feature by CiviCRM and Google Maps).
While it's true that a standard google search is always at hand for a research on a suitable Provider in the area of interest, in real life it turns out that most data is seriously obsolete or inaccurate. This could lead to hours of filtering google results and the phone just to find out that the provider does not offer services of interest.
We hope that the newly updated and verified database of Respite Providers would help a lot of folks find services that they are looking for!