mRelief (YC W16) Helps Low-Income Americans Easily Find and Access Social Services

by Y Combinator3/18/2016

An estimated 46.7 million people are
living in poverty in the United States. And each year, an average of 11.8 million of them leave almost $20 billion dollars of SNAP (food
assistance) benefits for which they’re eligible on the table. Often, these people don’t realize which social services they are eligible to receive, and thus don’t take full advantage of them.

mRelief is a non-profit launching out of our Winter 2016 batch that provides knowledge and power to this group of people. mRelief has built a platform that enables
low-income Americans to discover and check their eligibility for social
services both online and through text-messaging.

The company focuses on SMS in addition to web because 36 percent of Americans still do not have
smartphones — and low-income Americans send and receive 2 times more text
messages than other groups. 

TechCrunch’s Jon Shieber wrote about mRelief and its founders in a story published today:

“No organization exemplifies [the] notion of harnessing private industry tools for public good more than mRelief, a non-profit launching in the latest Y-Combinator batch of companies.

Founded by two friends who met at a coding bootcamp in Chicago,
mRelief epitomizes the notion that technology can help to address the
problems that are born from the bureaucratic worst tendencies of
government assistance.

…Since they’ve joined Y Combinator the mRelief service has been posting
impressive numbers. The service has seen 90% growth week-on-week, with
2,000 eligibility screening checklists completed in the last week alone,
according to data provided by mRelief’s founders.”

Read the full story in TechCrunch here.


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