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Innovation Spotlight

Improving Access to Social Services

For communities in need, social services are a critical safety net. However, trying to find services across multiple provider directories is difficult and frustrating. At the heart of the problem lies a maze of disparate data silos that are difficult to manage and update.

Open Referral is an open standards data exchange platform that makes it easier to share and maintain information on local social services. The platform enables resource data to be shared in real-time across any tool used by on-the-ground service providers. These critical services can include food, shelter, healthcare, immigration, job training, childcare, legal, and family support services. This effort makes it easier to find and access services people need, decreases costs to manage databases, accelerates innovation and development of new tools, and will help inform research, analysis, and decision making.