Findhelp (formerly Aunt Bertha) was incorporated in 2010 to make it simpler for people to connect to help, with dignity and ease. 12 years later, more than 10 million people have searched for help on our platform. Our Founder and CEO, Erine Gray, reflects on this important milestone:
Founder and CEO, Erine Gray, talks about what this milestone means to him.
Gray will never forget the sound of call center phones ringing off the hook in 2008 as Texas state employees fielded thousands of calls from people requesting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) assistance. That year, the housing market had collapsed, sending the economy into a downward spiral and millions of families into food insecurity. State agencies quickly discovered that they were not equipped to process the astronomical uptick in SNAP applications, leaving eligible candidates with weeks-long wait times. It was the Great Recession— and it was when the idea for findhelp was born.
As Gray looks back on his role in helping the state of Texas respond to this economic crisis, he says:
The recession laid bare the vital need for a stronger American safety net, and Gray became committed to creating an alternative. In 2010, he incorporated Aunt Bertha (now findhelp) with the dream to strengthen the safety net by leveraging technology to create a network of resources. Throughout the next ten years, findhelp became the nation’s largest social care network, connecting users with services ranging from childcare, to housing, to addiction recovery and more, in a matter of seconds.
Gray didn’t believe the nation would again undergo a crisis as extreme as the 2008 recession. “But it happened again,” he recalls “in 2020.” Ten years after its founding, amidst the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the findhelp team quickly recognized the critical need to add COVID-19 response programs to our network, including free internet programs for when schools switched to remote learning, drive-up food pantries, utility assistance programs, and more.
The network we had been building for ten years made it possible for us to respond quickly to the crisis. We were prepared to help people find help through one of the greatest challenges our country has faced.
Today, more than 10 million people have used the findhelp platform to connect to help. “This is a sign of the times,” Gray explains. “This milestone demonstrates just how much need is out there in the United States. We see people looking for homeless shelters, for utility assistance programs, food, counseling. And it’s growing. There are gaps in the American safety net, and people need help.”
As findhelp looks toward the future, Gray is dedicated to closing gaps in the safety net through interoperability and collaboration, allowing policymakers and funders to make efficient, data-informed funding decisions to support people in crisis and help people overcome poverty.
Findhelp’s search and referral data helps organizations and government agencies gain Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) insights to connect the dots between social factors and long-term community health outcomes. User privacy is our priority, and we’re committed to protecting user data while creating an interoperable network that helps policymakers, healthcare organizations, foundations, community organizations, and the private sector work together to prepare for the challenges not only of today, but also of the future.
As we mark our 10-millionth-user milestone, we’re grateful to all who have helped shape the future of American social care. Together, we can do so much more.
Findhelp is the nation’s leading social care network, making it easy for customers in a wide range of industries to integrate social care into the work they already do—from education and government to housing, healthcare and more. Through customer platforms alone, the findhelp network reaches millions of users across the country, making it easy to connect people seeking help and the verified social care providers that serve them, with dignity and ease.