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Empowering Angelenos to build a path out of poverty and thrive with One Degree

One Degree

Non-profit organization

Low-income and at-risk Angelenos will be able to find, access, and manage nonprofit and social services efficiently and with dignity on One Degree so they can prosper and reach their full potential.



What does your organization do?

One Degree’s mission is to empower people to create a path out of poverty for themselves and for their communities.

Briefly tell us a story that demonstrates how your organization turns inspiration into impact.

One Degree’s CEO and founder, Rey Faustino, was born in Manila, Philippines. He grew up as an undocumented immigrant in a working-class family, and his parents held several low-wage jobs to make ends meet, while raising their three young children in Los Angeles. Like many immigrants, Rey and his family experienced the difficulty of navigating critical resources, such as health care, educational programs, and immigration services. They depended on friends and teachers to be connected to services. Despite great advances in technology, very little has changed in the past 20 years in the social service sector. The challenges Rey experienced still plague low-income families today, which is what led him to found One Degree seven years ago. Today, One Degree has helped more than half a million families - including families like Tierra’s in Los Angeles.

Tierra was a single mother who told us her story of how she discovered One Degree. She was living on Skid Row, struggling for months to find stable housing. She found it difficult to locate family-friendly resources, because most resources in her community were geared toward single individuals. She also sought help from a number of service providers, including a case manager at a shelter, and from county offices as well.

Then Tierra heard about the One Degree platform from a community nurse at Union Rescue Mission. Tierra signed up for the One Degree app - and she was able to easily find family-friendly resources, including summer and winter programs for her young children and housing resources.

Today, she has secured stable housing for her family and is pursuing a career as a realtor. And, she’s become a champion for One Degree:

“Every day is a fight for housing. Without One Degree I was feeling low in spirit because I just didn’t know what to do. Fast forward 6 months later we finally housed!” - Tierra

Which of the live metrics will your submission impact?​

  • Access to healthy food
  • Rates of homelessness
  • Residents receiving coordinated healthcare services

In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

How will your project make LA the best place to live?

Low-income families spend as many as 20 hours per week researching, finding, and traveling to multiple agencies to get the services they need. Families often use more than 12 different agencies a year in their quest to meet basic needs.

We believe that poverty in L.A. County does not have to be a life sentence. We want to make it easier for more of L.A. County’s low-income families to navigate the safety net of services to improve health, food security, wellness, and improve economic mobility.

The One Degree platform makes the search for emergency food, shelter, or health services as easy as ordering a book on Amazon. Angelenos have agency, and everyone should be able to access the support they need to prosper and reach their full potential. Every resident in the Los Angeles region should have the economic means and cultural capital to lead active, healthy lives.

The platform at www.1degree.org and apps on iOS and Android connect low-income and at-risk families directly to more than 8,500 critical social services in L.A. County, including:

Urgent needs (crisis hotlines to overnight shelters)

Food (food pantries to nutrition education)

Housing (affordable housing to deposit and rental assistance)

Education (after school programs to life skills classes)

Health (prenatal care to mental health care and counseling)

Household (baby supplies to cash for utilities)

Employment (job training to resume help)

Users can find, manage, save, and track the services they are using. One Degree shows people resources that they are eligible for and the next steps to utilize them. Users can add ratings and reviews, and share opportunities with friends or family by email and text. This resource is live and available in L.A. County, but we want to launch a full campaign to grow usage and reliance on this powerful tool to improve lives.

We’ve set an ambitious goal to reach 100,000 Angelenos by the end of 2020. We will executive a marketing initiative in partnership with LA2050 get the 1degree.org platform into the hands of thousands more families and individuals in LA County so they can access the support they need to prosper and reach their full potential.

One Degree’s primary target population is technology-enabled, at-risk, young people (ages 18-34) and low-income families. More than 50% of people who use One Degree are currently homeless or have been homeless in the past.

Our activation strategies include (but are not limited to):

  • Social media outreach including Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, and other emerging platforms where our audience spends time

  • Highly scalable and targeted digital advertising

  • In-person trainings and tabling at community centers, neighborhood festivals, and other gatherings across L.A. County with help from our collaborators

  • Partnerships with community based organizations (CBOs) to arm them with marketing materials so they can help spread the word and encourage their staff and clients to use One Degree

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program (expanding and continuing ongoing successful projects)

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

We will measure success by how many L.A. County residents not only find resources, but utilize them to improve their lives.

Below are the top metrics we will use to analyze our work in L.A. County, and assess our progress.

Unique Users: The number of unique Angelenos who visit 1degree.org tools.

Active Users: The number of unique people that engage with our products on some level.

New Members: The number of unique people each month who create their own One Degree accounts.

User research and community feedback are also essential tools to gauge the success of our activation.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Access to LA2050 community
  • Host public events on the topic your organization’s issue area (e.g. access to capital, education reform, clean energy, etc.)
  • Communications support, including traditional media, social media, and LA2050 newsletter
  • Publicity/awareness

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