These days, it seems like internet is eating the world. Looking for a place to grab a bite? There’s a site for that. Searching for a good doctor? Ditto. Shopping for a new home? The web’s got your back.
You’d be forgiven, then, for thinking that everything is online.
But it’s not – not even close. Take the social safety net, the web of government-funded social programs that help people in need.
At a time of unprecedented need, there is simply no comprehensive, up-to-date, open directory of what social services are out there.
This is a big problem. Because of this knowledge gap, governments and foundations know little about the safety net that they fund. Social workers waste precious time calling service providers for updates about their programs, instead of helping clients. Doctors struggle to address the root social causes of their patient’s medical problems. People in need are disconnected from opportunities to help themselves.
We’re trying to change that. Starting with Chicago, we’re documenting the safety net and building tools that help social workers and hospitals find, track, and share great social programs.
We depend on your feedback and support to get us there. Help us build a smarter safety net.