SonicWall Helps OCRM Deliver Online Services to Assist Vets

By:  |  Category: Blog, Cloud Friday, May 12th, 2017  |  No Comments

Orange County Rescue Mission partners with SonicWALL to assists hundreds in need using a rapidly deployed secure WLAN

“The need is significant,” says Jim Palmer, president at OCRM and cochairman of the Stand Down event. Of the estimated 133,000 veterans in Orange County, more than 1,300 are homeless and 4,500 are on waiting lists for affordable housing. OCRM offers a continuum of care that includes outreach and prevention services for poverty and at-risk populations; transitional housing services for homeless men, women, and children; transitional housing for men in recovery; and supportive housing programs for single women with children and intact families.

The Stand Down event was staged to help address these needs. “We’ve heard so many stories of veterans not being able to get to the location of the Veterans Administration, or not being able to download the paperwork to receive benefits to help them get off the street,” says Palmer. “In addition, the event could offer medical and dental services that required access to electronic medical records online.” 

Access to Technology is a Huge Need for Vets 

“Today, people just assume that there’s Wi-Fi everywhere. For this event, we had to bring in the entire infrastructure for wireless support. We had 170 different service providers, and many of them were very dependent on being able to connect wirelessly to perform services for the homeless vets.”

Setting up this environment was challenging. There were hundreds of SSIDs visible in range because of the surrounding retail and residential sites.  There was also the issue of security based on the crowd—lower level for the veterans staying overnight and higher levels for the service providers and other non-profit groups assisting in the event. Internet performance was a concern as well as a central point of management.

How SonicWALL Helped

To meet these demanding requirements, a SonicWall solution was selected. The integrated Network Security Appliance (NSA) series next-generation firewalls (NGFWs), SonicPoint wireless access points, and a WAN Acceleration Appliance (WXA). To centrally manage the solution, Global Management System (GMS) software was added.

Palmer stated “This was the largest wireless deployment in terms of square footage OCRM has ever done. We’d experimented with other wireless solutions in the past, but those had significant weaknesses. We’re in the business of rescuing people, and when systems don’t perform, it has a negative impact on our ability to help. SonicPoints were the right solution, both with their flexibility and their ability to manage and monitor the wireless spectrum we had to deal with.”

“Technology allows us to help a larger number of people for the same amount of donations,” says Palmer. “It’s a strategic advantage to be able to communicate more effectively, share data and information more effectively, and monitor facilities and communications. But the real value to society is that we’re able to address the needs of more men, women, and children in crisis. With the assistance of SonicWall, we helped nearly 600 people during the event and 29,000 people over the year.”

If your company needs assistance implementing large scale Wi-Fi access, give EnhancedTECH a call at 714-970-9330 and we can create your own customized SonicWALL solution.


Source Image: https://www.pexels.com/photo/men-standing-near-flags-1582493/

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