Together, we did it! One Degree is Bay Area-wide

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Bay Area, we’ve got you covered. We’re proud to announce that our Bay Area Expansion Plan is complete! From Santa Rosa to Gilroy and every city in between – hundreds of thousands of families can now log on to One Degree to search and access community resources in their neighborhoods. And soon we will announce details of several exciting community events happening throughout the Bay Area.

Earlier this year, we announced our plan to expand throughout the Bay Area and now our expansion is complete! Following our launch in Contra Costa County we spent the summer and fall working on San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and this winter we’re putting the finishing touches on resources in Marin, Solano, Napa and Sonoma counties.

We published over 9,000 resources for Bay Area families and the list keeps growing. Right now you can discover a range of services from environmental job training programs in Sonoma County to support groups for survivors of a stroke in Solano County and everything in between.

We learned a lot about the Bay Area’s vibrant and unique communities. The Bay Area is a patchwork of different neighborhoods comprised of families with varying resource needs. The challenges for families in Milpitas, for example, differ from families in Marin City. As the first step in our expansion process we researched the specific issues facing each county, its effects on families and how they access resources. Our learnings allowed us to target finding and adding the most critical resources to our database that would immediately benefit families in those areas.

Here are a few county-wide example issues that made us reflect on our work and motivate us to get resources in front of families who need them:

  • San Mateo County’s immigrant population is growing at a rate greater than in any other county in the State1
  • In Santa Clara County, one in four Vietnamese residents doesn’t have health insurance2
  • Solano County’s African-American babies have the highest infant mortality rate of any other race3
  • In Napa County 72% of Hispanic children did not meet/exceed the Common Core standards for English and 81% did not meet/exceed in math4
  • In Sonoma County, 36% of all households are at risk of being hungry5
  • In Marin County, 12% of children age 2-11 had never seen a dentist6

Ready, set, go! We’re excited to offer families a platform for learning about and accessing resource information no matter where they live or work in the Bay Area. And we’re looking forward to getting you involved. Did you know that we can help organizations digitize their resource binders? Just email audrey@1degree.org if you are a nonprofit professional who manages a resource binder. Did you also know you can update your organization’s information anytime? Use our free community editing tools to update your page in no time.

We look forward to giving families across the Bay Area access to thousands of resources they need and to resources they didn’t even know existed. We hope you become part of this process and take advantage of using One Degree no matter where you are in the Bay Area!

Banner photo by: Joe Parks

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Press Release: One Degree Launches in San Mateo County

East Palo Alto, CA (August 17, 2016) – One Degree (www.1deg.org), a technology-driven nonprofit organization that makes it easy for low-income and at-risk people to access social services, launched in San Mateo County this month. Accessible on computers, tablets and smartphones, anyone can research and review over 1,000 currently available resources within San Mateo County in English and Spanish, plus manage, save and track their findings. Users can add ratings and reviews just like in Yelp – the restaurant and service search platform – and share the information with friends and family by email and text message.

Rey Faustino, CEO and founder of One Degree, started this online service in 2012 to help families overcome poverty. A Filipino immigrant growing up in Los Angeles with limited means, he wished his family had a way to access immigration and legal help, as well as after school care and health services. “One Degree empowers people to quickly and easily find the best and most relevant life-saving resources for them. It has been a demonstrated model in San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties. Now over 91,000 households across San Mateo County will benefit from having 24-hour access to services in San Mateo County.”

For the past five months, the One Degree team has been getting to know the San Mateo community by working with Ravenswood Family Health Center in East Palo Alto, the San Mateo County Family Health Division and other community organizations. Attending health fairs, farmers markets and other neighborhood events in East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo, Burlingame, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, and Pescadero, One Degree has been listening to residents’ needs, understanding the gaps in service areas, meeting the social service agencies, and tailoring its free web platform to best serve families in San Mateo County.

San Mateo County was high on One Degree’s expansion plan because of the need in cities like East Palo Alto, where 45 percent of its 30,000 residents live below the federal poverty line. By creating a modern online search platform and robust eligibility engine, One Degree reduces the time it takes to research, find, and travel to multiple agencies to get the services residents need such as affordable housing, employment opportunities, health clinics, child care, and more. Each program listed on One Degree has a clear “next step” for people to follow if they want to access it.

One Degree is pursuing plans to grow its San Francisco Bay Area presence and will complete its expansion into the North and the South Bay by year end.

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About One Degree:
One Degree is a nonprofit technology-driven organization that is revolutionizing the way families striving to improve their lives — and the people who support them — access community resources. One Degree’s platform, available on Web and mobile devices, makes it easy for people to access, manage, and review nonprofit and government services. Thousands of people in the Bay Area rely on One Degree’s core product (www.1deg.org) to access health care, food banks, employment services, and much more. Through OneHomeBayArea.org, One Degree is working to ensure every family has a safe and stable home by making it easy to find and apply for affordable housing. One Degree is supported by Tipping Point Foundation, Westly Foundation and other organizations across the Bay Area. Learn more at www.1deg.org.

CONTACT: Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder, One Degree, 888-799-7273

15 Things You Didn’t Know About San Mateo County!

 

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Hey there! This is a very special time for One Degree: We are officially expanding our resource coverage to San Mateo County!  That means that cities like East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo, Burlingame, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, and Pescadero. We are excited to work with families  and local organizations to help our San Mateo County community thrive thrive. San Mateo County is  a very unique place so we’ve collected 15 things we think (!) you may not know about yet! Test your knowledge and see if anything surprises you:

  1. The Home of YouTube YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing website, got its early starts in an office above a pizzeria in San Mateo. Three friends worked tirelessly from the small office to develop the website.
  2. Immigration Boom – California is home to the largest number of immigrants in the country. Within California,  San Mateo County’s immigrant population is growing at a rate greater than in any other county. It ranks 8th in the nation for concentration of foreign-born residents.
  3. Rare Animals  – San Mateo has a variety of natural habitats, which makes it home to two endangered species — the California clapper rail and the salt marsh harvest mouse.
    clapper rail mouse
  4. Food Deserts East Palo Alto went over 20 years without a grocery store within its borders; residents had to drive to other cities for fresh food. Mi Pueblo Grocery opened in 2009 and was seen as a milestone for residents.
  5. Big Waves – Mavericks, an area of beach north of Half Moon Bay, is considered one of the best big wave locations for surfers. Winter storms can create waves between 25 and 60 feet tall!
  6. Kiddos in SMCIn San Mateo County, 72% of children with parents in the workforce do not have access to licensed child care. However, these kids are still crazy smart. In regards to percentage of students proficient at grade reading level, SMC kids at any grade are on average 10 points higher than the overall state numbers.
  7. Paradise in the Bay – Before World War I the U.S. and German governments conducted tests to determine the world’s best climates. The top of the list included the Canary Islands, the Mediterranean, and SMC’s very own Redwood City!
  8. Cackly California CondorsIn May 2014, and exactly 100 years after the last sighting, a California condor was spotted near Pescadero, a city in the Southern part of SMC.
  9. Secret SMC AirportSan Francisco International Airport is actually located in the northern part of San Mateo County, not within San Francisco County borders as you might expect.
  10. Low Calfresh Access  – San Mateo County has one of the lowest enrollments in Calfresh. Only 50% of all Calfresh eligible households in SMC are enrolled in the program.
  11. Impact on Facebook’s Home – San Mateo County became the largest earning county in the United States  for one quarter in 2012 after Facebook first went public. No surprise, Facebook is headquartered in SMC.
  12. Lots of Languages 45% of children in SMC speak a language other than English as their first language. 25% speak Spanish and 20% speak a language other than Spanish/English as their primary language.
  13. Movie Dreamland – The northern branch of Dreamworks moved to Redwood City in 2002 and has produced movies like Shrek, Madagascar, and Over the Hedge!
  14. Deep Ports – Redwood City has the only deepwater port in the southern San Francisco Bay, making it fastest growing small bulk port in the state.
  15. Luck of the Irish – Menlo Park was founded by two Irish immigrants. They made a sign on their new home saying “Menlo” which was the name of their home back in Ireland. Then when a train station was built near their home it was named “Menlo Park” after the sign. A town grew around the sign and the rest is history!

There you have it: 15 facts about San Mateo County. Did you know some of them? Do you know any others? Maybe we’ll find out more now as we launch in SMC. We can’t wait to get to know this community better!  As always, don’t forget we’re rooting for you.

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Welcome to the Family, San Mateo County!

 

1deg_poster_smc-readyHey guys! We are completely excited, thrilled, happy, and grateful to announce our expansion into San Mateo County! We have been working towards this for a long time and we can’t believe that it’s all becoming real now. We’ve been putting in resources onto our site, meeting with local organizations, training nonprofit professionals, and getting to know the community as we prepare for our launch.

San Mateo County has a very special place in One Degree’s heart (one of the reasons we have been itching to expand here). Orlando Pineda, our software engineer who built a big part of the site you see now, grew up in East Palo Alto and even lives there today with his family. Also, our Operations & Development Associate, Herbert Castillo grew up in Redwood City. Finally, every summer we have the privilege of welcoming an Eastside College Prep, a independent high school in East Palo Alto, alumni as a summer intern. This year, Jacob Adams, a rising sophomore at Kenyon College joined us as part of our partnership with Eastside. Last year we had EPA natives Jamie and Dennyce who attended  to Eastside as well. Hearing all of their stories about  community and collaborations made us know for sure that San Mateo County would be a great addition to our One Degree “family.”

Audrey Galo, our Resource Manager, and her team have been working hard to make sure that we have as many resources as possible on our site so you can find everything you’re looking for close to you! Right now we have 777 opportunities and 228 organizations all located throughout San Mateo County, and we’ll continue to update our database as we get new information. Don’t forget you can help us by becoming a community editor!

SMC made sense as our next stop in our expansion plan. We think that the community could benefit from One Degree’s role as a one-stop-shop for resources and social services. Only 50% of all Calfresh eligible individuals in SMC are enrolled in the program. There are 72% of children with parents in the labor force for whom licensed child care is unavailable. The immigration rate in San Mateo County is growing faster than any other county in the state. Our expansion means that these people, and so many more, have easy access to opportunities that fit their needs.

We want you to come to check out all these great resources! Check to see if your favorite community organization or service is on our site, and if it’s not please edit and add it so we can expand our database. Check out new opportunities you might not have heard of before and get the latest contact information so you can access them. Come meet our team at community events throughout the month of August; our official launch will be celebrated at the EPA Blockfest on August 13! Let us know what you think of One Degree and our expansion.

Welcome to the family, San Mateo County! We can’t wait to continue growing and learning with community members and local organizations. We are excited to connect with you all and for what’s to come. We’re rooting for you, SMC!

The New One Degree

About two years ago on January 1, 2014, we released a version of One Degree that was built on a new and improved platform. At the time, there were only two of us on the team, and we sprinted to complete a working beta version to prove our model.

We had a hypothesis that if we built a fast, modern, mobile-ready web platform, low-income families – and the professionals who help them – could more easily find poverty-fighting resources to improve their lives much faster and more easily than outdated paper binders, lists, and dead-end Google searches.

We started in 2014 with just a few hundred active users a month. And since then, One Degree’s active user base has grown 10-fold, and the platform has expanded to serve more than 4 times the low-income population it did back then.

The Old One Degree (2014)

Over the last two years we’ve been listening to and learning from our community about what was working and not working on One Degree. We spoke to community members at events, on the street, and at organizations across the Bay Area.

Our team (which has also grown to a full-time team of 7) took that feedback and undertook a huge redesign and engineering overhaul to ensure that our platform is ready for scale to serve hundreds of thousands of more families.

Over the years, we’ve heard about so many “One Degree moments” ‒ when someone found exactly what they needed and took action to improve their life or that of someone they were supporting.

JasmineRecently, Jasmine, a family support specialist, experienced one of those One Degree moments. Jasmine works with families at Edgewood Center for Children and Families in the Bayview District in San Francisco. Shortly before discovering One Degree, she was working with a young woman who was struggling to make ends meet. Jasmine tried to give her as much support and information as possible, but often felt that she couldn’t give her client anything concrete. She didn’t have specific numbers to call or steps to follow.

Then Jasmine had her One Degree moment. When she met with her client again, Jasmine simply typed “cash benefits” into One Degree’s search box, and several options popped up, including Season of Sharing, a community fund that offers grants to help families in crisis pay for housing and emergency needs. Her client followed our simple “What To Do Next” steps ‒ found on every opportunity ‒ and soon her client was approved for a grant to get her through this tough time.

Jasmine’s story is just one of many stories of the thousands of people who use One Degree on a regular basis. And as more and more people like Jasmine have started using One Degree, we wanted to make sure we were continually improving it to make it more reliable.

We’re excited to reveal the brand new One Degree. Check out this quick video with some highlights and continue reading below.

Here’s a short sampling of the major improvements we made during our design and engineering overhaul:

Lightning fast
No more waiting and waiting for search results to load! We re-engineered One Degree to increase the response time by 85%, and made using the platform lightning fast for every user.

Smart Visual Search

Easier to navigate
We rethought how to categorize our information, and we simplified and standardized thousands of resources so they are even easier and faster to find.

Smart Search
We’ve also improved how we show search results overall, so users always see the most relevant and critical resources first. And now our visual search tool guides you to the right resources without having to know the keywords of what you’re looking for. We also added smart searching features that predict what you’re looking for. All of this amounts to a faster way for our members to get the resources they need and get them on their way to improving their lives.

More Intuitive
We refreshed the design language of the whole site and made every page (from the homepage to the listings and everything in between) simple, beautiful, and easy to navigate for everyone.

Organized sidebar
We made managing and tracking resources easier than ever with a sidebar that allows you to quickly access the social services that you’ve saved.

Sharing tools
We added new sharing tools so any resource on One Degree can be shared via email, text message, or Facebook, or annotated with a note for the community.

Community editing tools
We’ve completely rethought how to enable anyone to add and update information directly in One Degree, empowering the entire community to be editors of our vast social service database. It’s like Wikipedia ‒ with a review process ‒ and One Degree is the only platform of its kind that takes this collaborative approach. We know we’re not the experts ‒ you are. There are people in the community who can provide better resource information than we can, and we wanted to make this process more intuitive for them.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 10.47.07 AMAccess, not just information
You’ll now see a brand new button on opportunities, labeled “Help me track this.” This is the start of how we’re thinking about helping people not just find, but also use services. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out new ways for our members to directly access resources right on One Degree. Stay tuned.

 

We’ve always said that One Degree is more than a directory. One Degree is the only consumer-facing platform for social services. We are so excited to finally unveil this brand new version!

Check out the New One Degree!

If you’d like to learn more about the dozens of new features we added to improve the way you access resources, attend one of our upcoming in-person or online workshops.

Thanks to all our community members who gave us their feedback along the way. And we’re not done yet ‒ keep the questions, ideas, and suggestions coming. Email help@1deg.org. Everything we do is in service to the community so yours is the most important voice in the process.

One Degree Launches Social Service Platform in Contra Costa County

Richmond, CA (February 26, 2016) – Low-income families throughout Contra Costa will now be able to quickly find life-saving social services, such as affordable housing, employment services, health clinics, and more with One Degree’s announcement of its expansion to the East Bay region. One Degree (www.1deg.org), a technology-driven nonprofit organization that helps low-income and at-risk people access social services, shared its plans to rapidly expand to the entire Bay Area, starting with Contra Costa County. Currently available in San Francisco and Alameda counties, One Degree has pledged to serve all 1.3 million families living in poverty in the Bay Area by 2017.

“We’ve demonstrated that the One Degree model works in San Francisco and Alameda counties. Now we’ll be supporting the diverse Contra Costa community and its more than 200,000 people in need,” said Rey Faustino, CEO and founder of One Degree. “We’ve built a scalable platform that thousands of people already rely on. Contra Costa residents also deserve easy access to their community resources, which is why we’ve worked to quickly expand there.”

Nearly one in five people live below the poverty line in Contra Costa County. Living in the third most populous county in the Bay Area, Contra Costa’s 1.1 million residents across three major metro areas of Richmond, Concord, and Antioch, struggle to find the right resources within the over 7,000 nonprofit and social services in the region.

“One Degree is very exciting and refreshing, and it’s something that is definitely lacking in Contra Costa County,” said Dr. Edwina Perez-Santiago, co-founder of Reach International Fellowship, a re-entry program for formerly incarcerated women. “The idea of a woman being able to find anything from housing to food and job training in one place is definitely something really needed in Contra Costa, where we have women from many diverse backgrounds that need all kinds of resources at any given time. One Degree gives people access to a broad spectrum of services in one place.”

“Our mission has always been to provide access to life-saving resources to anyone, anywhere, anytime,” said Rey Faustino. “Families have begun to rely on One Degree to find and access resources of all kinds in San Francisco and Alameda counties. But we believe everyone deserves this kind of easy access to critical services. Now is the time to expand our reach to the entire Bay Area and beyond.”

One Degree is an online access point for nonprofit and governmental services. Thousands of people rely on One Degree to get information about and access to a comprehensive range of services, including housing, health care, legal services, food, employment services, educational programs, and much more. One Degree is aggressively pursuing plans to grow its Bay Area presence, and will begin its expansion to the Peninsula and the South Bay in the coming months.
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About One Degree:

One Degree is a nonprofit technology-driven organization that is revolutionizing the way families striving to improve their lives — and the people who support them — access community resources. One Degree’s platform, available on Web and mobile devices, makes it easy for people to access, manage, and review nonprofit and government services. Thousands of people in the Bay Area rely on One Degree’s core product (www.1deg.org) to access health care, food banks, employment services, and much more. Through OneHomeBayArea.org, One Degree is working to ensure every family has a safe and stable home by making it easy to find and apply for affordable housing. One Degree is supported by Tipping Point Foundation, Y Combinator, and Google.org. Learn more at www.1deg.org.

CONTACT: Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder, One Degree, 888-799-7273

Big news across the Bay

As soon as we launched in San Francisco earlier this year, people from across the Bay (and around the country) started reaching out to us about bringing One Degree to their communities.
 

ONE DEGREE COMES TO ALAMEDA COUNTY

We are excited to announce that our service is now available in Alameda County, which includes Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro and several other cities.

We’re serving the East Bay in partnership with Highland Hospital Health Advocates (HHA), which helps hospital patients access social services through their volunteer-run help desks in clinics. Our friends Deborah Son, HHA’s program manager, and Dr. Dennis Hsieh, HHA’s physician champion, have been instrumental in making this happen and integrating One Degree into their program. Since April, we’ve been quietly adding the East Bay’s nonprofit and social service resources into our database, and now HHA’s volunteers are using One Degree every day to help patients meet their critical needs.

For more info about our expansion to the East Bay, check out our blog post.

Work for a nonprofit org in SF or the East Bay? Learn how your org can become a One Degree Partner by emailing rachel@1deg.org today.

TAKE THIS SURVEY, HELP US IMMENSELY

We’ve partnered with the Echoing Green Social Investment Council on a project that will help drive the direction of One Degree’s features for nonprofit professionals.

If you work at a nonprofit, health care or social service organization, we need your help. Could you fill out this short 3-minute survey?

Your opinion will directly inform what features we build! Feel free to share the survey with your nonprofit colleagues as well.

NEW FEATURE: LISTS

If you’re signed up as a member with an account for nonprofit or social work professionals (free for everyone), you can now create your own curated list of opportunities from our database. It’s as easy as creating a mixtape and sharing it with your friends – except these lists have life-saving resources instead of songs from the 80s!

Read more about Lists on our blog, and check out some of our favorites that One Degree members have created.
 

Thanks for your support, feedback, and ideas for improvement! We’re constantly moving things forward at One Degree, and we simply cannot do it without supporters like you.

Warmly, 
Rey & the One Degree team

PS – Share our job openings (Engineer & UI/UX Designer) with your friends: 1deg.org/join.

PPS – Want to bring One Degree to your community? Join our waiting list.

PPPS – Join our volunteer Street Outreach Team & help us reach more families in SF and the East Bay. Email rachel@1deg.org to learn more.