Live better, Idaho.
A new website focused on empowering Idahoans to do just that is now available.
LiveBetterIdaho.org is a new and unique way for consumers to discover and connect to supports that can help them live healthier lives. By linking them to appropriate services, they can be empowered to make better choices and – we hope — move themselves and their families to independent, healthier lives.
“It is a very ambitious goal and helps the public quickly take action to access local, state and national resources available to help Idahoans,” said Dick Armstrong, director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW). “LiveBetterIdaho.org is more of a holistic web approach for people who want to improve their lives. It can help them put food on their tables, enroll in a nutrition education class, find jobs and mentors, make child support payments, quit smoking, and get access to healthcare, among other things.”
The site was created by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to fulfill an initiative in its strategic plan, but the department is only the facilitator for a strategy of connecting people in need to a larger framework that includes community partnerships and services in addition to public assistance programs.
“Strategically, we have always said that we can provide part of the solution, but this goes beyond traditional welfare services,” said Lori Wolff, administrator for the Division of Welfare and part of the brainchild for the new approach. “LiveBetterIdaho.org encourages communities, partners and stakeholders to join forces in an easy-to-use website that provides effective solutions.”
When a person first visits the website, they are offered several methods to access services, including one option to provide basic information about their household. That information is used to generate a list of services and supports relevant to their situation. If a service has eligibility requirements, information on those requirements is provided. A person who might be seeking information about child care would also see services related to nutrition education resources, work services programs, and a mentoring program or classes on personal budgeting if they are available in that person’s community.
But wait, you say. Doesn’t DHW already have a website to help people access public assistance services?
It does, Wolff says, but that site contains a lot of information for taxpayers, medical providers, the general public, legislators, media, and anyone else who might want information about the department’s many programs. All that information and data can be a challenge to navigate and find what you need. And because it’s the department’s site, it is focused on department services. The new site is focused on all kinds of services and supports, from the community level on up to state and federal, and connecting customers to those that are relevant with as few clicks as possible.
“This site is not about making it easier to be on welfare; it’s about providing access to services that help families make good choices,” Wolff said. “LiveBetterIdaho.org is not a replacement for www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov, it’s an augmentation. It’s specifically for people who want to improve their situation and connect to services and programs that can empower them.”
The site is still a work in progress — more partners are being added each week. If your group or agency offers services for low-income Idahoans and is interested in having your services included on www.LiveBetterIdaho.org, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.