City social services are no greater than their accessibility. It`s one thing to have established social services but what good are they if the user is unable to obtain the vital information or know-how when attempting to access them? This is an issue that is lacking not only in Houston, but most everywhere.
In most major cities, there is a homeless shelter available. But, it is not widely known by those outside the homeless community or considered an acceptable option for those who are not homeless. There is a stigma associated with it, and has the ability to haunt the homeowner or renter who is not there just yet but still desires and qualifies for a range of pantry (and other services) available to them in hopes they may not end up there soon; similar to a doctor treating the ailment and not just the fever.
There you have one established method of seeking help in addition to a barrier preventing a majority of its users seeking that resource. Fortunately this population of users in need can still seek help through the internet? However, “Googling` Houston, TX Social Services” did not provide a robust selection of links to any viable or easily assessed social service resources. Is this to say that Houston is lacking in the social sector of providing for its citizens? “Of course not.
What it does say, is that the user in need who has had the whit to seek out help thus far is going to require some further patience, tenacity, and resourcefulness in order to gain any help. In this low economical period of America`s tenure there is still someone out there willing to help someone in need, and there are multiple organizations that either thrive on helping the community or were established solely to address a need within the population. These organizations are out there. Should the user remain focused and not give up hope they will eventually find somewhere that will help or at least point them in the right direction.
As far as Houston`s social services and their accessibility there is an “Official Site” available for those inquiring about services available to them. But, after first inspection, said site would leave the untrained and unskilled at a loss or disadvantage. Even a college graduate visiting the site is unable to quickly and effectively establish any quick information on services that could be available to them should they be in need.
When navigating through the links, any user can easily be sidelined by the overwhelming amount of information available and become lost. As-is, there are over forty links under the I want to link, and within the head banner one can find interest in the fact that “Do Business with the city” is listed twice. The same issue of too many options occurs under the Residents link as well. Even after investing ten minutes on the site one is unable to locate and resources available for those actual citizens in need. This is a perfect example of resources not being accessible. (The City of Houston Health and Human Services Department)
Within the links that we received back, one of them did turn out to be helpful as it went directly to a page that lists leading Social Services available to residents of Houston, TX. The page “www.SocialWelfareServices.org` offered several social service opportunities, here are just a few examples of service organizations available: Smoking and Tobacco Education, In Home Health Care, Salvation Army, Family Services Center, Young Angels of Mercy, Texas Human Service Place, St. Jerome Social Service, and Houston Area Community Service. This page offers links to over twenty resources of organizations offering a multitude of social services to the residents of the city. (Social Services)
At this point in time it feels appropriate to hope that the users seeking any help from the Internet, and or Houston`s official site, have the ability and option to pick up a phone and call the city direct (if not 2-1-1).
(1) The City of Houston. Health and Human Services Department. Houston, TX: , Print. http://www.houstontx.gov/health/
(2) “Social Services.” Houston, Texas – 77083 Leading Social Services n.pag. Web. 29 Oct 2012. http://www.socialwelfareservices.org/Texas/Houston_77083_social_and_welfare_services.php.