A new online tool is helping people in Saint John find community resources that they may not know even exist.

Cradle to Career is a searchable online database that launched late last week and already has information about 180 programs offered by 90 organizations in the area.

The website promotes programs that focus on everything from help with technology to tutoring.

Chris Hopkins, the Human Development Council's database manager, said the site includes educational services, such as continuing education; literacy services for early childhood education, academic upgrading and computer skills.

"I think that it really builds on some of the things that we've tried to do in connecting people to services," Hopkins said.

Until now, he said, there hasn't been an easy way to find out about what programs are available, that's why Living SJ developed the initiative with the help of the development council.

The groups hope to grow the list of what programs are offered over time and have already added about 25 new ones since the website launched last week.

Big help to small non-profits

Hopkins said the site has detailed information about each program, something that many of the groups had trouble promoting in the past, especially smaller groups that don't have a real web presence of their own.

"I think that's the biggest thing," he said.

"Most of these programs, or organizations that offer these programs, are non-profit organizations with limited resources."

Hopkins said helping get the information online, and keeping it up to date, will be a boon for both the service providers and people in the community looking for their services.

The website can be searched by category, community and age group.

The database officially launched on Feb. 11, and so far, Hopkins said, the council has had a positive response, both from individuals looking for services and the groups who provide them.