Two women are sorting food in a food bank

Weaving a Stronger Social Safety Net

United Ways of California is weaving a stronger social safety net so all members of the community can more easily access the services they need to succeed.

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.

“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

Benetech’s partnership with United Ways of California paves the way for greater access to health and human services data for Bay Area residents as well as a replicable model for deployment across California, the United States, and other service sectors. Benetech works with United Ways of California, United Way Bay Area, and California Health and Human Services Agency to increase access to this incredibly valuable data.

The first phase of the project is an evaluation of United Way Bay Area’s 2-1-1 directory data from six Bay Area counties to determine data quality and target inefficiencies such as duplicate or missing data. Additional project plans include the development of open data infrastructure that prioritizes the free flow of information that can be localized for social services providers and the individuals they serve.

Interested in partnering with Benetech?

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