413Cares.org, the online community resource database launched earlier this year for Western Massachusetts, has released data that shows more than 18,000 residents have accessed the database for important information for critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since 413Cares.org launched in November 2019, there have been 18,319 searches for services on the portal. The top search categories are Housing (28%), Food (23%), and Health (14%). Other program search categories include Transit; Goods; Money; Care; Education; Work; and Legal Services.
While still in its early stages of development as a new resource, the 413Cares.org portal has taken on additional importance to help those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Needs have been on the rise for community resources as a result of the pandemic. As a single online point of contact, 413Cares efficiently connects people in the region to critical services they may need including housing, food and nutrition, healthcare, transportation, early education and more.
The top terms people have searched on 413Cares are “food”; “housing”; “food pantry”; “food delivery”; “help find housing”; and “emergency food.”
As of December, 259 local organizations have claimed their listings on 413Cares, and have added 859 programs to the portal.
413Cares provides residents the ability to access critical information, resources and referrals to community-serving organizations from one online portal. The Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts manages the portal, established in late 2019 as the result of a community-driven process, with initial funding by Baystate Health. The portal is housed on the Aunt Bertha national platform.
The portal is populated by community-serving organizations in the region “claiming” their listings on 413Cares.org to ensure their program information is accurate and up-to-date, which helps the public find services more efficiently.
413Cares is fully HIPAA compliant, Hi-Trust certified, mobile-friendly and can be translated into over 100 languages.
Over the summer, 413Cares announced a collaboration with Mass 2-1-1, the statewide free information and referral hotline, which provides phone support for those searching for services on the 413Cares portal. Those searching for COVID-related services will see a pop-up box appear with call information.
Other resource and referral networks in the region and across the state include Look4Help.org in Franklin County, Boston Medical Center’s MA Community Resource Directory MASSTHRIVE.org and UMass Memorial Health Care & Reliant Medical Group’s CommunityHELP.net