Celebrating SF Pride – Take a look at our collection of Queer resources

Written by Tati Guardado, Summer Intern with One Degree

Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, June 1973. Photo: Leonard Fink.

San Francisco Pride is this weekend (June 23-24)! The Pride parade celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and the fight to express one’s authentic self. Let’s celebrate and remember how it all started.

One of the founders of Pride was Marsha P. Johnson, a black transgender women who was a leader in the Stonewall riots. These riots occurred after police harassed patrons at the New York City Stonewall gay bar in June 1969. Pride marches sprouted from these riots, providing a space for members of the LGBTQ+ community facing discrimination both in society and in their own LGBTQ+ communities.

Members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender and gender non-conforming people of color, face more discrimination and are often excluded from the history of Pride. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported that “72 percent of the victims of LGBTQ or HIV-motivated hate violence homicides in 2013 were transgender women, and 67 percent were transgender women of color”.

Marsha P. Johnson was a radical leader for the LGBTQ+ community. Many believe she died as a result of a hate crime. She serves as a real life reflection of our community, and the struggles people face to lead happy and healthy lives.

At One Degree, we believe everyone can be empowered to create a path out of poverty for themselves and their communities when provided access to life-improving resources. As part of San Francisco Pride we’re celebrating by providing opportunities for our transgender and gender non-conforming members to meet their needs and celebrate themselves.

LGBTQ+ and Looking for Help?

  1. Here is a collection of resources around San Francisco for transgender and gender non-conforming people of color. This collection includes medical care, mental health care, counseling and support, housing for LGBTQ+ folx and more!
  2. Need help finding resources? Live Chat our Member Support using the yellow box on the bottom right of any One Degree page, or email us at help@1degree.org
  3. Check out Asylum Connect, a One Degree partner that provides an online database of resources for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers all over the country.

How can you be an Ally?

  1. Share our collection of resources for Trans and gender non-conforming people widely.
  2. Add more resources! If you find organizations providing support to the LGBTQ+ community that aren’t on One Degree, add them using our community submission tool. You can also use the “Suggest Edits” button (top right) to make edits to any existing resource on One Degree. Check out these  Frequently Asked Questions to learn how to add an organization to the One Degree website.

Happy Pride!

The One Degree Team

Meet One Degree’s New Team Members!

We’re thrilled to be joined by amazing new team members at One Degree. Please welcome four new Onesies who are working on critical projects at help deepen our impact and keep the organization running smoothly.

Angel Alvarado, Senior Software Engineer
Angel joined to use his skills for good and to make an impact. Angel brings years of experience as a Senior Engineer at a non-profit publisher where he helped transform their websites and publishing systems. Angel implemented systems for companies and marketing agencies in both the US and Mexico. He brings a passion for “big data,” and Data Engineering.


Lauren Fogel, Senior Product Manager
Lauren joined to bring her deep leadership experience in and passion for product development and strategy to the social service sector. As Senior Product Manager, she will oversee the development of our web and mobile products, ensuring that members are able to quickly and easily find and utilize the resources they need. For over 20 years, Lauren held product development leadership positions at Pearson, a major global education technology company, where she led the development of products in higher education STEM disciplines that are in use by millions of students around the world.
Adam Rey, Executive Assistant
With a passion for social justice and a desire to help those in need, Adam joined One Degree to be part of an organization working for meaningful change. Previously Adam worked in operations with the San Francisco Democratic Party where he applied his skills to coordinate, organize, and mobilize campaigns, volunteers, and potential voters to promote local measures and candidates he believed in.
Andrea Wood, Head of Development
Andrea joined One Degree to help tip the balance of power to individuals and families that are struggling to build a path out of poverty. She is responsible for fundraising and the development of partnerships with agencies, philanthropists, and foundations that share One Degree’s vision of a world where anyone can achieve social and economic mobility. Previously, Andrea served as Director of Advocacy and Fundraising at Mozilla, founded and led the client services team at Change.org, served as a Senior Consultant at M+R Strategic Services.

Happy Holidays & Watch Rey Faustino’s TED Talk

Before we all head out for the holidays, I wanted to share a TED talk I gave about One Degree’s big plan to create a public utility for social services. Special thanks to the inaugural TEDxOakland team for inviting us to speak. Watch the TED talk here.

Make an impact for more families in need and create systemic change in our communities by making a gift today to One Degree.

Support One Degree with a year-end donation today


One Degree’s Plan to Become a Nationwide Public Utility


What would it look like if we built a public utility for social services?

Public utilities give us the pipes so that we can easily drink water. One Degree wants to build the infrastructure so that people can easily access social services. It’s not enough for people to just get information about the services, we actually want to see people access them, benefit from them, and ultimately improve their lives.

Imagine searching for a critical service, like domestic violence support, and within minutes being connected to an organization in your community that can help. That’s where One Degree’s vision started.

Now imagine a world where families can apply for food stamps just as easily as it is for us to purchase a book on Amazon. Right now, the application for food stamps is dozens of pages long and takes hours to complete. It doesn’t need to be this hard to make sure families get food.

And once you apply for food stamps, what if you could then click one button and apply for childcare subsidies, affordable housing properties, and healthcare? We want to make this onerous process as simple as finding and buying a book on Amazon, where you don’t have to keep re-entering your information every time you buy a book.

And just like you can keep track of the books you have bought on Amazon, in our future system, you can keep track of all of the services you have applied to and utilized, and you get a visual understanding of how your life has improved over time.

This is just the beginning. There are so many other problems with information and access that we have barely begun to work on. And the beauty of building infrastructure — and not just a product — is that we don’t have to duplicate that infrastructure over and over again and we can use it to create more solutions that help people access the resources they need.

Developing One Degree’s Long-Term Goal: Public Utility for Social Services

At One Degree we’re thinking big about what we can do to make advancements for our most vulnerable neighbors. We have the potential to scale to meet the size of the problem by leveraging technology. How many other nonprofit organizations have the potential and capacity to actually reach the millions of people in need throughout the country?

The rapid adoption of internet usage among low-income and at-risk populations has created an opportunity to radically transform the way we address social needs for millions of people. While One Degree has been leading the way on designing and serving products for a technology-enabled low-income population, we realized that we needed to do more than just build great products. We didn’t want to just be a product company, we wanted to create systems change throughout the country.

With that realization, we solidified our long-term goal: to be a nationwide public utility for social services. We want to create the one place to access social services for anyone, anywhere, and, as a result, impact millions of people across the country. This means that we are building the infrastructural layer that enables people to easily access services and policymakers and funders to make data-driven decisions about services in their communities.

With this long-term goal as the anchoring guide toward our mission, we developed a strategic plan for the next phase of the organization. It’s our blueprint for scaling our impact, developing a sustainable revenue stream, and creating a nationwide public utility that is borne from a deep partnership with communities.

Special thanks to Tipping Point Community and McKinsey & Co. for being our partners in thinking big about revolutionizing our social safety net and working with us on our new strategic plan.

Read and download the entire strategic plan at: 1degree.org/strategicplan.

Building the Public Utility for Social Services

The holidays can be a stressful time. While the season is about family and festivities, it can be difficult for our neighbors and friends who are struggling to take care of their families’ needs.

Recently we worked with a community member from Berkeley, who I’ll call Bill, who was struggling to find counseling services. He was suffering from PTSD and couldn’t afford the high cost of his health provider’s therapists. Even though we were able to refer him to some nonprofit counseling options, his situation got me thinking about the limitations in our social service sector.

Why can’t Bill see the availability of counseling sessions at local organizations that are meant to help? On the flip side, it’s so easy for me to see exactly how many seats are available on a flight from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The technology is available, and we can see it at play throughout the rest of society – from tracking shipping for the gifts you bought on Black Friday to travel planning for holiday trips.

But our social safety net doesn’t have any common underlying infrastructure. Many of the “solutions” that exist now are just glorified online binders that require a gatekeeper, like a call center operator.

We believe that our community deserves better, and that’s why One Degree is building a public utility for social services. Our vulnerable and marginalized communities deserve a social service system that works for them, puts them at the center, and meets them where they are.

Together with Tipping Point Community and McKinsey & Co., we developed a strategic plan for One Degree’s next phase. It’s our blueprint for scaling our impact, developing a sustainable revenue stream, and creating a nationwide public utility that is borne from a deep partnership with communities. Read our blog post about our journey to this strategic plan.

With forward-thinking people like you standing with us, we will continue our important work and  build this public utility. Help us make an impact for more families in need and create systemic change in our communities by making a gift today to One Degree.

Together, we are going to build a better future for so many families. Thank you for all that you do.

Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder

Get Help Applying for Health Insurance

It’s time to get covered: What does health insurance “open enrollment”  mean for you?

There’s been a lot of confusion this year about how to access health insurance. In California, we use Covered California, a marketplace created through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). On the Covered California website, you can purchase health insurance for the first time, renew your health insurance and apply for Medi-Cal if you’re eligible. If you don’t have health insurance, you need to apply for health insurance through Covered California to avoid a fee during tax time (April 2018).

WHAT is Medi-Cal and why would I qualify?

Medi-Cal is California’s health insurance for low- and no-income individuals and a lot of people who qualify don’t know about it.

WHEN can I apply for health insurance and Medi-Cal through Covered California?

You may have heard that the open enrollment period for Obamacare is shorter this year. This is actually not the case for California. Although many states across the country have shorter enrollment periods this year, Covered California’s open enrollment period is from November 1 – January 31, 2017. But don’t put it off. The application might take longer than you think, and it could be difficult to get help applying when you’re closer to the end of the enrollment period.

HOW do I apply for Health Insurance?

If you feel comfortable, you can apply online on your own, right here. If you’d like some help applying, you can find enrollment help on the Covered California website.

You can also find help applying for insurance on One Degree:

Find help applying to Covered California in the Bay Area!

Find help applying to Covered California in Los Angeles County!

CAN I apply for health insurance if I’m Undocumented?

If you’re undocumented, you can use Covered California to apply for Medi-Cal, but your benefits may be limited. Depending on your county, you may be eligible for another health insurance option, such as those in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

We hope this helps to clear things up for you as you’re applying for health insurance. If you have more questions about applying for health insurance, or accessing health care without insurance, Live Chat us using the little yellow box on the bottom right of any page on One Degree, or email us at help@1degree.org

Growing to New Heights: One Degree’s Annual Impact Report

I’m excited to share One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017. As you know, One Degree’s mission is to empower people to create a path out of poverty for themselves and for their communities, and over the last year we expanded throughout all nine counties of the Bay Area, launched our expansion to Los Angeles County in partnership with LA County Department of Health Services, and doubled our community. We are so happy to share the stories, learnings, and impact that made up an incredible year!

Download One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017

Community Member Profile: Gloria
One Degree is made up of thousands of people like Gloria, hard-working people, who are using One Degree to search, find, and access resources in their communities. One of our members recently shared a story about how One Degree made an impact on her life.

With bills piling up, Gloria opened her paycheck and noticed it was smaller than expected. Realizing her creditor had begun garnishing her wages, panic set in. Gloria logged onto One Degree to search for help since she had never run into this issue before. After contacting One Degree support staff, we were able to help her find and access free legal services counseling at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. Additionally, we were able to provide Gloria with a variety of other resources to support her, such as opportunities to repair her credit and a counselor to help improve her financial literacy. Because of One Degree, Gloria was able to create and work on a plan to get back on track with the creditors and avoid other financial issues in the future.

“Your organization is very important and valuable. I have already shared One Degree with friends and I will keep sharing it!”
– Gloria, One Degree Member

Hiring: We need your help
We’re still looking for talented people to join our mission-driven team! Please forward this email to your friends and networks. More info: 1degree.org/join.

Thanks for making 2016-2017 another big year of milestones for our organization and our community.

Make a gift & help us make more impact this year!


Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder

Download One Degree’s Annual Impact Report for 2016-2017

Northern California Fires Relief Collection

Late in the night on Sunday, October 8th, multiple forest fires spread throughout Sonoma and Napa counties. 20,000 people have been evacuated from their homes and at least 1,500 structures have been destroyed.

Looking for Help?

  1. Check out our collection of fire relief resources. This collection includes temporary shelter, pet shelter, evacuation updates and more. We will update the collection as more opportunities become available.
  2. Need help finding resources? Live Chat our Member Support using the yellow box on the bottom right of any One Degree page, or email us at help@1degree.org
  3. Throughout the Bay Area, there is an increased level of smoke in the air. Take health precautions to protect yourself from smoke in the air. Read more here.  Check your air quality here. 

How can you Help?

  1. Share our collection of fire relief resources widely. This collection will be updated as more opportunities become available.
  2. Add more relief resources. If you find organizations providing fire relief in Sonoma and Napa county that aren’t in our collection, please add them using our community submission tool here, or add them to an existing organization on One Degree using the “Suggest Edits” button on the top right of any organization’s page. 
  3. Sign up to become a volunteer with the American Red Cross. As volunteer needs change, the American Red Cross will update volunteers.

Search One Degree for thousands of resources in the entire Bay Area and Los Angeles County, from access health care, food banks, employment services, and much more.

Thank you to everyone working for our community – keep taking care of one another.

One Degree Team

P.S. You can also offer your home or find free temporary housing via Airbnb from Oct 8-30, 2017. Please note, we are not affiliated with Airbnb nor do we list their services on One Degree.

P.P.S. Eater San Francisco is keeping a running list of open restaurants, many of which are providing free meals, in the Napa and Sonoma County area. Please note, we are not affiliated with Eater SF nor do we list their services on One Degree.

One Degree in UCSF Health Policy Report + We’re Hiring!

One Degree stands with DREAMers. While the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is in peril, we believe that every young person has tremendous potential, and we are working to make sure everyone affected by the recent changes in DACA has the resources they need to thrive.  If you are or know someone who is searching for resources for DREAMers, check out this collection we created.

The One Degree team is growing so we can continue to support our communities in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and beyond. Please help us find the perfect people to join our team!

We are looking for:

  • Vice President of Program, a senior executive who will lead all of our community-facing work, from product development to outreach, so that we’re increasing our impact
  • Development Manager who will manage One Degree’s fundraising engine to make sure we have the fuel to do our work
  • Product Manager who will be responsible for building and maintaining products that help thousands of low-income families find the resources they need to overcome poverty
  • Executive Assistant who will support scheduling, administration, and operations for the organization

We are committed to diversity and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. Please forward this email to your friends and networks who may be a great addition to our mission-driven team! More info: 1degree.org/join.

One Degree featured in UCSF Health Policy Brief
Last month we were highlighted in UCSF’s Health Policy Brief. One Degree was showcased as an innovative approach to working with the health care delivery system to promote health equity and address the root causes of health disparities for adolescents and young adults. Read the full report here.


Rey Faustino, CEO & Founder