Working with Chris Mathews at Code for Raleigh - he's tracking a project as NC Connect

Durham Open Referral Memo (More details)

Problem Statement

The social safety net is fragmented. There are many small social programs and individual nonprofits that provide services, but those change regularly.The current system of directory updates is costly (manual intern labor pulls together updates), and the data collected are not available in open formats (i.e. interoperable and re-usable) that can be easily accessed by social workers and clients through a variety of interfaces.


The Open Referral Initiative is developing an interoperable format for structuring and sharing community resource data, and supporting pilot projects in which local stakeholders (organizations with a daily need for reliable community resource data) engage in a process of discovery and learning about the best means of establishing community resource data that is accessible, interoperable, reliable, and sustainable.

Intended Outcomes

Phase I - create an ‘ecosystem’ Decrease the collective costs of data production, by enabling various databases to ‘speak to’ and ‘read from’ a common format, and automatically circulating data between institutions. enabling service providers and users to submit updates of new information or flags of incorrect information. Increase the value of resource data by enabling it to be re-used via open APIs, which enable data to ‘flow’ across different kinds of systems.

Pilot Points of Contact

  • Laura Marx, United Way NC, President
  • Marti Morris, United Way NC, NC 211 Director, 704-996-0422
  • Chris Mathews, Wake County DBA
  • [Tentative] Debra Duncan, Alliance Behavioral Healthcare; manages Network of Care ( Network of Care is the service directory for mental health that the county is currently funding

Project Activity

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