For making government benefits less daunting. Single Stop USA is simplifying the qualification process for government benefits, like food stamps and student financial aid, with a new online platform that allows anyone to conduct a self-screening to see what’s available to them. “It’s sort of incredible that you can search online for sushi or Italian food, but not a domestic-violence shelter,” CEO Elisabeth Mason says. The nonprofit, which launched nationally in 2007, has reached 1 million households and secured $3 billion worth of services and benefits for clients since its launch, but up until now the model has relied on clients going to in-person meetings with staffers. The online platform, which rolls out at the end of 2015, will make access to information easier than ever—what Mason calls the “the Amazon.com for social services” and government benefits. Once they’ve gone through the screening process, clients are given an estimate of how much aid they’re eligible to receive, and they can contact recommended benefit providers directly through the platform. Single Stop’s in-person locations will also remain available.
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