Economic Security and Mobility Project

Build Up Initiative

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Project Overview

The Build Up Initiative brings the innovative Integrated Services Delivery Network approach to local communities and builds up community capacity for using Integrated Services Delivery (ISD). This is a proven approach for bundling work, health, and income supports; education, training, and career advancement; and financial education and coaching. The initial implementation will focus on streamlining the distribution of resources through human, health, and workforce services providers.

ISD Networks directly addresses how systems and policies that are supposed to support people with services during times of poverty and economic insecurity instead often hold them in place. Under the traditional service delivery model (fitting people into programs), far too many people are held back from thriving by practices that impede, rather than support, upward economic mobility. COVID-19 underscored how more than half of the population live paycheck to paycheck, often with little savings and too much debt. At the same time, billions of dollars in public benefits and services go unclaimed each year by eligible people who could be stabilized and advanced by these resources.

The first community building an ISD Network is Guilford County, NC, with United Way of Greater Greensboro serving as the coordinating organization and working with direct service providers. The second is led by Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul, its Department of Indian Work, and key stakeholders. MDC and technology, data, and evaluation partners support the Networks. Coordinating organizations manage ongoing ISD Network operations, including monitoring services and connections to employment; tracking and reporting on outputs and outcomes achieved by participants; and engaging in learning and continuous improvement. The plan is to demonstrate Networks in at least four local communities and then scale more broadly.

New ISD Networks are established through a year-long participatory process, with Build Up supporting coordinating organizations collaborating with local stakeholders (including service providers and community members) to design and build local ISD Networks. This approach deploys a “front door” online technology portal combined with community-based structure and equity-focused practices to “flip” the traditional services model to collaborate with, wrap services around, and empower residents to achieve better social, economic, and health outcomes. Networks recruit service providers to join and hire and train coordinators to support providers in implementing ISD plans customized for households’ needs and success.

Research and practice show that using ISD triples to quadruples the odds that residents achieve major economic outcomes. These include reducing poverty and economic insecurity and increasing levels of education, employment, income, and financial stability—all of which are social determinants of health and antecedents of upward economic mobility. MDC and coordinating organizations will track impacts (such as increased revenue and reduced uncompensated care costs for governments, healthcare systems, and health insurers) and recruit and engage these organizations to sustain the operations and support of ISD Networks.

If you are interested in more on this program, please contact Senior Program Director, Ralph Gildehaus.

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Ralph Gildehaus, JD, Senior Program Director

Email Ralph Gildehaus, JD