Dallas Ministry Using Free Digital Signage Platform to Help Homeless

November 19, 2012

Digital signage helps communicate messages to ministry's denizens.

A Dallas-based ministry is using Rise Vision's free digital signage platform as part of its efforts to help the city's poor and homeless.

Network flat-screen monitors installed in Our Calling's cafe keep men, women and children who use the ministry's outreach services informed about things such as meal times, food distribution points and weather conditions.

"We use the system, in part, to offer convenience information such as the weather and social updates for customers in retail businesses," explains Our Calling's Pastor and Executive Director Wayne Walker, "but for the homeless men, women and children who come to see us, it can be life-changing. Getting updates on freezing weather conditions or locations where food will be distributed is not about convenience, it is about saving lives."

Our Calling also uses the system to run news and sports, and the ministry is fine-tuning plans to integrate real-time information from a database, including notifications of where people stand on wait lists for using the shower and laundry facilities.

Walker says his nonprofit group has to make feeding and clothing the poor the top priority, so finding a technology solution that fit Our Calling's budget was tough.

"It is very powerful, flexible and easy to use. Someone donated an old Dell laptop to us and I installed the 'Player' and it has run flawlessly ever since," Walker said.

Our Calling expects 1,000 people this week for a Thanksgiving meal, and the digital signage screens will be a key component in communicating to both the guests and a team of more than 500 volunteers.

"This is such a heartwarming story," says Rise Vision CEO Byron Darlison, "and it perfectly shows how a free solution doesn't necessarily mean a compromised solution."

Thousands of organizations — from schools and community groups to small and medium-sized businesses — have switched on Rise Vision's completely free, enterprise-grade digital signage platform. There is free limited use, truncated or largely unsupported open source digital signage offers available on the market, but Rise Vision says its full, robust platform is free to users no matter the number of licenses or complexity of the setup.

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