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Downtown Emergency Service Center Releases CHASERS, Free Software for Homeless Service Management and Beyond
Date:9/30/2008

SEATTLE, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) is pleased to release its CHASERS application as open source software. DESC uses CHASERS to store and manage information about clients, services and agency operations.

Created by DESC, CHASERS is both proven and a work-in-progress, and has been under in-house development for approximately five years. During this time, CHASERS has been in continuous use, and now contains information on over 70,000 clients served by DESC. Key features include web-based access, client and staff management, reporting, permission and access control, electronic logs, collaborative caseloads and real-time notifications.

"CHASERS has become an integral tool in DESC's ongoing work to serve the sickest and most vulnerable homeless people in our community," said Executive Director Bill Hobson. "We are pleased to release this software to the community, and hope it will become useful for other organizations as well."

As used at DESC, CHASERS is built entirely on Free and Open Source Software. In this configuration, there are no software or licensing fees involved, allowing CHASERS to be used to its maximum potential. One such advantage is that every staff member has an account, without additional cost.

"DESC has benefitted greatly from the use of Free and Open Source Software, and from assistance from free software communities," noted Ken Tanzer, DESC's Director of Information Services. "I'm very happy that DESC is in turn contributing to the pool of free software. At the same time, other organizations have expressed interest in CHASERS. With this release, these organizations can begin determining whether CHASERS can provide value to their operations."

CHASERS was designed for flexibility and adaptability, and modified versions are used for fundraising and volunteer management, and to manage data for a research project conducted in cooperation with the University of Was
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SOURCE Downtown Emergency Service Center
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