Two women are sorting food in a food bank

Weaving a Stronger Social Safety Net

Give Today

Across the United States, 47 million people live in poverty, 56.7 million people have a disability, and 10 million people annually are subject to domestic violence. These individuals could greatly benefit from existing social services. Unfortunately, the social safety net is hard to see, difficult to navigate, and easy to fall through.

Thousands of organizations exist to help these individuals and many more fund social services including food, shelter, healthcare, job training, childcare, family support services, and legal aid. Each organization has valuable data that they dispense to the individuals they serve; however, that data is locked in fragmented and redundant silos across thousands of human services organizations and referral providers. These costly and ineffective data silos make it difficult for service providers to connect clients with the services they need.

Benetech Service net is an open standards data exchange platform that makes it easier to share and maintain information on local social and human services. Organizations providing referrals or referral technology and agencies providing information about their services, such as community-based shelters, food pantries, or government agencies, can work together to make better data available for everyone.

"We've long dreamt of a brave new world where community resource databases eliminate redundancy, easily share our information and above all, elevate the quality of our data for the folks that need it most. Needless to say, we were overjoyed to hear Benetech, a nonprofit developing software for social good, set this idea in motion with the creation of a bold data collaboration pilot." - Aranxta Sanchez-Cruz, Resource Operations, Health Leads

Bay Area Project

This data-collaboration project is focused on making it easier for the 1.5 million people living in poverty in the Bay Area to get connected to the human services they need. Six partners are using Benetech Service Net to share and maintain their records on local social and human services. These organizations are both national and local, government and nonprofit, comprehensive and agencies specializing in specific impact areas such as homelessness or legal services. Partners include Eden I&R (211 Alameda County), Health Leads, Legal Aid Association of California, San Mateo County, ShelterTech, and United Way Bay Area (211 Program).

Sacramento Project

In coordination with our partner Dignity Health, this project brings together Sacramento hospitals, local government, navigators and shelters with a specific focus on homelessness and real-time shelter capacity. Specifically, Service net will be used to help refer people to homeless shelters, by making information about individual shelter processes and requirements, waitlist information, and real-time bed availability available for anyone who might need it. This includes shelters, referral organizations, city and county agencies, hospitals, and people experiencing homelessness.

“We are excited to work with Benetech as a partner in efforts to transform the safety net here in California by expanding the reach and impact of health and human services data, and potentially increase our efficiency, enhance our sustainability, and expand the impact of our operations. Benetech has a long history of successful technology development for social good in California and around the world.” - Peter Manzo, president and CEO, United Ways of California

Interested in partnering with Benetech?

Contact Us


Give Today