Helping millions of working Americans connect to well-being
By Robert Phillips
I joined Social Interest Solutions as President and CEO because I believe that together we can help millions of individuals and families achieve the three things we all need—security, opportunity, and time to connect to one another and to our communities.
These three universal needs are unevenly met and tied to the advantages and disadvantages of a family’s socioeconomic status. As a result, our children’s ability to learn, grow, and chart their own paths in the world is as much a product of family circumstances as their own effort, ability and aspirations.
I am convinced that SIS can provide solutions that enable people to get easier, more efficient access to the essential supports that can help them achieve what they need to thrive.
We are proud of our work here at SIS. Every day, our solutions enable tens of thousands of people across Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, and Maryland to get stronger and more successful by accessing health benefits, affordable housing, tax assistance, food support, job training, quality childcare, and more. We’ve been doing this for 15 years and this has placed us in an excellent position to help.
I believe that we can do much, much more.
Let’s launch a new vision for technology and social policy that supports our universal needs for security, opportunity, and time that families can share together.
This is what I believe our organization can do millions of times over: Assist those of us like Stephanie Land to get connected to what we need to live healthy, productive lives. Through our unique integrated approach, combining technology and policy, we can help all of us connect to supports that meet our universal needs for security, opportunity, and time to share with those we love.
We’re going to test technology’s ability to address social inequity.
Finding things such as low-cost healthcare, nutrition assistance, housing support, affordable childcare, energy assistance, asset support for savings, and financial aid for college should be as straightforward and as convenient as using consumer-facing solutions like Amazon. We will begin steadily building and improving our platform’s capability to connect millions of households to the resources they need to be successful. I believe we will have something as easy to use and as powerful as Amazon.
We are the folks that can make this happen.
I’m confident we will continue to innovate and iterate, making the solutions we’ve created even more robust and capable of meeting the needs of our families, friends, and neighbors seamlessly and easily. We will find new ways to give all of us a fair shot at security, opportunity, and time to connect with each other.
We become a stronger organization focused on accomplishing our mission when we are all seeking these bigger goals.
How do we move forward? We make our solutions better and we do it now.
We have to update the basic idea of what our solutions are to our clients and end users. We need to make improvements as fast and as well as any other company to make more and better connections reliably.
We need to align and integrate our unique policy perspective with the design and operation of our solutions. Our approach is unique across the marketplace and it gives us an exceptional ability to understand what it takes to design solutions that meet the needs of systems, our clients’ challenges, and achieve positive change across the country.
And WE create a culture of trust, autonomy and collaboration inspired by our mission that unleashes our creativity.
A culture that inspires innovation and rapidly improves what we’ve built so far. A culture that is comfortable and transparent — where we share ideas and take risks. A culture where each of us has a voice in what it means to achieve our mission.
Think of how different our world would be if each of us could be connected to help when we need it. If each of us could experience the security, opportunity, and time to share with each other that we want and deserve. Think of how much stronger we could all be.
This is where I want us to go. This is what I want us to be.
Will you join me?
Consider the story of Stephanie Land, a single mom from Port Townsend, Washington, who used benefits and tax credits to rebuild her life.
“Without these programs,” she told CNN Money, “I would have probably lost custody of my daughter or would have been forced to live in a car somewhere.”
Land started taking college courses while still in a homeless shelter. Later, rental assistance helped her and her young daughter move into housing in Montana. Land cleaned houses to support the two of them, but after paying her rent, covering her student loans and normal expenses for a car, Internet and cell phone, there wasn’t much left. She relied on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to pay for their food and childcare support that allowed her to work and study.
“At times, it got really, really bad,” Land told CNN Money. Even a small bill like $10 could “send her over the edge,” CNN Money reported.
But, after six years of hard work–and support–Land graduated in 2014 with an English degree. She now supports herself and her children as a published writer. Recently married, she and her husband are now looking for a house.