What to Know
- A new web application aims to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them during their time of need, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
- The application, developed through a public-private partnership with Google.org, is a user-friendly social services discovery application that aims to help individuals who are either new to or unfamiliar with the state's social programs network, the state says.
- To find the services needed, visit New York's new web application by clicking here.
A new web application aims to help struggling New Yorkers locate benefits to assist them during their time of need, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
The application, developed through a public-private partnership with Google.org, is a user-friendly social services discovery application that aims to help individuals who are either new to or unfamiliar with the state's social programs network, the state says.
The "Find Services" web application has an easy-to-navigate user interface. The web application asks each user series of simple questions aimed at narrowing the field of possible services that are best designed to assist them in their needs. After answering the questions, the user is given a ranked list of potential services along with a description to help them choose the service that is right for them and provide them with more information about how to apply.
"COVID-19 has caused unprecedented demand for social services in New York, including families and individuals who have never relied on social programs before," Cuomo said in a statement. "This new web application, the result of a public-private partnership, will provide New Yorkers with a user-friendly, stigma-free resource to get the assistance and relief they need."
The new tool was developed at no cost to taxpayers during a six-month collaboration between the state Office of Information Technology Services and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and a team of 10 full-time pro bono Google.org fellows supporting the Governor's COVID-19 Tech SWAT Team initiative.
"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State has moved with urgency and resilience to tackle the coronavirus head-on," ITS Interim Chief Information Officer and Director Jeremy Goldberg said in a statement. We have received unprecedented support from civic-minded technologists across the state to support our response efforts. We welcomed that support and worked hand-in-glove with this team to assist those who needed it most."
During a three-week pilot of the application, more than 100,000 New Yorkers accessed the web application.
"Seeking social services can be difficult, especially if you don't know where to start," President of Google.org Jacquelline Fuller said in a statement. "The Google.org Fellows wanted to make it easy for New York residents to find and access essential programs, especially in times of crisis. In under six months and 10,000 pro bono work hours donated, the team was able to build a web application from the ground up by combining the technical expertise of Googlers with the unwavering leadership of New York State. Google has called New York home for the last 20 years and we're proud to stand alongside Governor Cuomo and the members of the Tech SWAT Team to help ensure the health and safety of our community."
The partnership enlisted the help of technology companies. Since it's start the partnership has assisted roughly four million New Yorkers. Additionally, the web application's code has been open sourced in order to allow other government entities the opportunity to build on this project to meet the needs of their own residents.
New York's social services programs have seen a surge of residents in need since the start of the global pandemic -- to the point that early on during the health crisis the state's unemployment benefits website crashed after a surge in applications. Something that Cuomo apologized for and officials worked to remedy. More low-income New Yorkers are in need of critical benefits, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and temporary cash assistance.
To find the services needed, visit New York's new web application by clicking here.