Code for America received two separate investments, totaling $100 million over seven years, to set up its Safety Net Innovation Lab and work with state and local government agencies to modernize their social safety net administration services to make access to government services more equitable, the nonprofit announced April 12.
Code for America obtained the investments in the form of two partnerships: one with The Audacious project worth $64 million and another with Blue Meridian Partners. The Safety Net Innovation Lab aims to partner with 15 states, to reach 13 million people, to hopefully unlock $30 billion in benefits, the release said.
“Change isn’t easy, but it is possible,” Amanda Renteria, CEO of Code for America said in the release. “Code for America has a bold vision for remaking America’s safety net so that it is accessible, equitable, and easy for people to use.”
“There are unseen heroes in government working directly with people every day, navigating old systems,” Renteria said. “We can and must equip them with the kind of tools and data they need to streamline their efforts and create a truly human-centered safety net that meets the needs of millions of people in America.”
Code for America cites the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic pushed many social safety net services to overcapacity as one of the driving factors behind the creation of the lab. The group said the investment will be used to seed what it calls, “the first major nationwide plan by a civic tech organization to reimagine our safety net in partnership with governments across the country.”
“Our mission is to catalyze social impact on a grand scale by working with groups with big, bold ideas,” Anna Verghese, Executive Director of The Audacious Project, said. “We’re pleased to support Code for America’s vision for modernizing the social safety net in America. This work is vital and opens the door to fundamentally transforming the relationship between government and the people it serves.”