Low adult literacy can lead to negative health-related consequences, such as poor ability to make informed decisions about health issues, respond to emergency preparedness messages, and understand environmental health risks. (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House


The mission of Jacob A. Riis Settlement House is to build and strengthen the underserved communities of Western Queens and act as a catalyst for change. Riis Settlement is a community-based non-profit organization that offers comprehensive services to the youth, adults, seniors, and families of Queensbridge, Ravenswood and the surrounding neighborhoods.

SafetyNet Project

As part of our work to strengthen settlement houses, UNH is partnering with IBM through the SafetyNet Project. The Project is designed to make data collected by UNH members more usable through the implementation of IBM’s SafetyNet data management application and seeks to improve members’ ability to:

IBM has provided the SafetyNet application to four of UNH’s existing members. The application has been deployed to two UNH member agencies – Hudson Guild and Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center. UNH is committed to continuing the project throughout the year and will work to make access to the SafetyNet application available to other UNH members.

The Nonprofit Need

Nonprofit agencies are required to collect data and generate detailed reports to multiple funders to document the progress and outcomes of their work with program participants. This can be time consuming, particularly for organizations with limited staff. Records are often scattered between several office sites, making them hard to collect, and efforts to complete documentation can take resources away from operations and diminish services. 

The IBM SafetyNet application gives agencies a complete, at-a-glance snapshot of a client or family's progress and their needs while making it easier to administer contracts with multiple government agencies. Nonprofit agencies utilizing the application can centralize and standardize their program data and be better able to analyze and communicate the data in a compelling manner.

IBM SafetyNet

To help nonprofits address these challenges, IBM created software called IBM SafetyNet that reduces the time and expense required for reporting, administrative, and assessment processes. Nonprofit users of SafetyNet report time savings of between 20 and 40 percent. This allows nonprofits to focus on what they do best: serve clients.

Each nonprofit using the application is receiving services and software from IBM. The services include project management, training, consulting services and ongoing application hosting and support. With the deployment of SafetyNet, UNH member Jacob Riis Settlement House has reported improved ability to respond to funders who request information on short notice to document the efficacy of its services.

Thanks to a grant from The New York Community Trust, UNH has hired a project coordinator to serve as the primary liaison between UNH, IBM, and UNH member agencies. The Project Coordinator, Latoya Leslie, has responsibility for training and supporting staff at the member sites on how to implement and utilize the SafetyNet application.


For more information about the UNH/IBM SafetyNet Project, please contact Latoya Leslie, UNH/IBM SafetyNet Project Coordinator, at lleslie@unhny.org or 212-967-0322 x329.


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