2020 Year in Review
The voices of people who need help often get lost in the shuffle of public agencies, health systems, and community providers. That reality is especially true when it comes to the fast-changing world of safety net system innovation – where policymakers, public agencies systems, health systems, and technology “disruptors” are constantly working to change how support and service is delivered and paid for. Too often – from board rooms to governors’ mansions to Capitol Hill – conversations about the “safety net” in the United States leave out the very people the system is supposed to serve.
Alluma is working to change that, to bring the perspective of those most impacted by how well safety net systems function to the forefront of how policy and technology improve how people get help when they need it. This results in better access, better value, and better support for every community, particularly people most harmed by our safety net system today.
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued to drive changes that are important to realize equity—the promise of our work for the communities we serve. Here’s a snapshot of some of this exciting work.
As an organization, Alluma celebrated many milestones during a difficult 2020. The most significant? Our merger with One Degree.
Together, we are revolutionizing the way people access social services and public benefits. We are creating an end-to-end service delivery platform that can simply and seamlessly connect people to the support they need.
After working together for years, @1Deg is officially part of the Alluma family. Together, our merged organizations have nearly 30 years combined experience working to help people attain social and economic mobility. Learn more:https://t.co/h2uWPQHGhA— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) October 8, 2020
Our merger will combine One Degree’s community-facing resource and referral platform with Alluma’s public benefits eligibility and enrollment solution to create an efficient platform that makes it quick and simple for people to apply for and receive benefits and services. This effort will not only help the end user directly, but will allow those helping them — agency staff, case managers and other professionals — to spend their time supporting families in need rather than processing applications, re-entering information across systems and translating paperwork.
Alluma and One Degree’s powerful integrated system will offer a one-stop solution that allows users to determine eligibility, apply for and enroll in both nonprofit services and public benefits. Together, we can help the social safety net system achieve its true promise of empowering people to overcome crisis, rise out of poverty and live better lives.
In March, we launched the Social Tech Collaborative, made up of Benefits Data Trust, Civilla, Code for America, mRelief, One Degree, and Single Stop, with the purpose of partnering to demonstrate the value of a social tech model as an alternative to what is currently used by many government agencies.
STC and our partners are highlighted in the Aspen Institute's recent review of organizations working to improve the function and reach of the safety net through modern technologies and "a relentless focus on the people" who rely on benefits. Read it at https://t.co/Yql3hhQsUQ.— Social Tech Collaborative (@socialtechus) July 14, 2020
In May, we publicly launched our free, online Quick Screener, which helps millions of Californians check their likely eligibility for CalFresh and Medi-Cal, California’s food and medical assistance programs.
The process of finding and applying for help can be daunting.— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) June 16, 2020
Our #QuickScreener is a free, easy-to-use online tool that enables any Californian to check, in less than 3 minutes, if they may be eligible for #CalFresh and Medi-Cal.
Learn more here 👇https://t.co/uD4UDXFixF
In July, LA County requested our help in managing and disseminating information about COVID-19 testing sites to residents. By utilizing their existing information and referral platform infrastructure, we were able to quickly launch a modern, human-centered COVID-19 testing site locator tool. Since its launch in August, we’ve had 2.2 million users look up testing sites with 3.7 million sessions.
How @1Deg was able to quickly launch a modern, human-centered #COVIDtesting site locator tool and an administrative application for LA County within just three weeks to meet the urgent need.https://t.co/oUdEE4ZWqB— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) December 8, 2020
In October, we held the first in a series of Zoom Forums to discuss how to ensure the social safety net system helps *all* people achieve social & economic mobility, and transform it to address the needs of poor people and people of color.
Our safety net system should not just be something that helps people *survive* during an emergency, but something that can empower people to *thrive*. - @RPhillipsAlluma #PeopleFirstSolutions pic.twitter.com/nXxZZfVCoY— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) December 1, 2020
How can organizations begin developing an equity-centered approach to our safety net system?— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) December 2, 2020
By sharing power and ensuring diverse representation by making community members part of the design/development process#PeopleFirstSolutions @reyfaustino #WeAreAlluma pic.twitter.com/5ITefNzHha
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In January, Alluma President/CEO Robert Phillips wrote about how we can use technology to advance a social equity agenda.
"What is needed is not more technology seeking to push social change, but rather a push to integrate technology into the work of social change...— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) December 30, 2020
"But while technology is necessary, it is wholly insufficient." #PeopleFirstSolutions #RebuildTheSafetyNethttps://t.co/u9tt3SgMOi
In May, Robert joined the joined WashingTECH podcast to discuss the role technology must play in helping reverse the inequities facing our society, both during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
"Technology is a necessary component of social change."— Alluma (@WeAreAlluma) January 4, 2021
In May, Robert joined @WashingTECH podcast to discuss the role technology must play in helping reverse the inequities facing our society, during and after the #COVID19 crisis.#2020yearinreview https://t.co/2IB6frA2TZ
In December, Robert joined Health Leads' Social Determinants of Health Webinar Series to discuss how we can center equity and the BIPOC community when implementing technology solutions.