Homeless Individuals Given Helping Hand by Fulcrum Multibiometric Solution

Fulcrum Biometrics, an international provider, distributor and integrator of multiple biometric identification systems and biometric devices, delivered a biometric management solution to the Bergen County Department of Human Services (DHS). Working with New Jersey Business Systems (NJBS), Fulcrum used their modular development system to develop a fingerprint identification system that will allow the Bergen DHS to better serve their homeless population. The new system will provide more accurate identification of homeless individuals who are seeking and receiving services from the county and feed more detailed data to the larger New Jersey state database, a repository of homeless population information that helps to serve the community through food, clothing and housing programs. By providing more accurate identification and eliminating duplicate records, the county will be able to better support funding requests and grant applications, further enhancing services provided to the homeless community.

“With our modular approach to multibiometric software development and our use of the Fulcrum solution we were able to quickly develop a highly customized application for Bergen County,” said Ken Nosker, President of Fulcrum Biometrics. “We were able to provide a robust system that does precisely what the client requires and yet is flexible enough to expand in scope and scale as requirements change.”

Bergen County DHS required a solution that would take advantage of the existing New Jersey homeless management information system (HMIS) while providing more accurate reporting about the true number of individuals for whom the County was providing services. Working in partnership with New Jersey Business Systems' biometric division, Eyemetric, the holder of the County contract, Fulcrum was charged with developing a system that would operationally function independently of the HMIS yet still provide for the automated exchange of information between the two systems. Fulcrum worked with the existing vendor to develop a data-sharing method that periodically augments the HMIS data while still allowing the county to run daily operations totally independent of it.

Using finger image scanners from Futronic technology and a fingerprint matching algorithm from Neurotechnology, Fulcrum used the framework to develop a web-based application that communicates via Fulcrum's web services interface to start tagging biometrics collected from the various DHS service sites, and, as required, merge them into singular records that resolve back to individual identities inside the HMIS system. Using this approach the county is able to rapidly and easily acquire a true count of homeless persons for whom services are provided at any given time.

“User friendliness was one of our primary goals and we have that in this system,” said Valerie Dargan, Director of the Bergen County Department of Human Services. “We open a web page, select the service and location, apply the finger image, and we're ready to go.”
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