About

StreetCred
Our mission is to build wealth and improve health for families and children.
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Vision

An American healthcare system addressing all social drivers of children’s health.

Piggy Bank

Who we are

“StreetCred seeks to improve the health and well-being of America’s youth – “

by helping families in the United States build assets and access evidence-based government support programs. Families face multiple barriers to enrollment in these programs, including confusing applications, long lines, time scarcity, and limited transportation options. In response, StreetCred makes it easier, faster, and cheaper for families to access government assistance by meeting them in a trusted, frequented, untapped location: the pediatrician’s office.

Our Journey

2015

Mother of two has trouble finding affordable, trustworthy tax help, so asks Dr. Hole if he might help her while she waits in his clinic, sparking the creation of StreetCred.

2016

StreetCred launches its pilot site at Boston Medical Center, returning over $400,000 to nearly 200 families.

2017

StreetCred expands its tax prep services to three more Boston-based locations, putting $1.2 million in the pockets of over 550 hardworking families.

2018

StreetCred expands beyond Massachusetts to Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas, returning $1.7 million to nearly 1,000 families in need.

Why StreetCred

StreetCred exists because child poverty in the U.S. is rampant, harmful, and expensive.

Forty percent of children in the United States are low-income. Sixteen million, or one in five, are poor, with another one in five near poor.  Poverty negatively affects children’s brains, learning, and health into adulthood, costing the US economy more than $500 billion annually in lost productivity and health expenditures. Safety net resources pull children and families out of poverty, but underutilization plagues America’s most effective programs.

20% Donut Graph

Consider one example:

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a tax refund for working poor families, is considered one of the nation’s most effective anti-poverty programs. It is associated with improved infant and maternal health, higher employment rates of single mothers, improved K-12 school performance, and increased earnings when children reach adulthood.

However, access barriers prevent more than 20 percent of EITC-eligible families from receiving the money they’ve earned. Making matters worse, for-profit tax preparers take nearly $2 billion every year from EITC recipients.

Our Secret Sauce

More than 90% of children visit a healthcare provider annually. StreetCred leverages the trusting relationship families have with their pediatricians, and for some clients, makes productive use of time otherwise wasted in doctors’ waiting rooms.  We partner with the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and other government agencies to train volunteers and staff to help families file taxes, maximize tax refunds and apply for other anti-poverty programs – all during their visit to the pediatrician. We handle these services directly and efficiently rather than referring families to other social service organizations outside the doctor’s office.

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Our Model

Clinic

Step 1.

Partner with health clinics serving high volumes of families with low income

Taxes

Step 2.

Partner with local Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) coalitions

Hands

Step 3.

Recruit and train volunteers from surrounding communities

Envelope

Step 4.

Provide free tax preparation and wealth-building programs

Iterate and Scale

Step 5.

Iterate and scale

Study Impact

Step 6.

Study impact on health and wealth

#TIMEISMONEY #TAXPREPWHILEYOUWAIT #WEALTHISHEALTH

How StreetCred is Making a Difference

Too many eligible families have never heard of the EITC and other anti-poverty government programs.

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StreetCred advertises eligibility for government assistance programs like the EITC in hospitals, clinics, and surrounding communities.

Filing taxes and filling out pages of complicated applications for government assistance can be confusing.

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StreetCred’s staff and volunteers are well-trained by local partners and IRS-sponsored curricula to walk families through filing taxes and complicated applications.

Filing taxes is expensive at places like H&R Block and Liberty Tax, especially when budgets are tight.

Forms

StreetCred’s services are free.

Tax prep sites and local government offices are often inaccessible. Think: transportation problems, inflexible hours at low-paying jobs, limited child care, and inconvenient hours of operation at gov’t-run offices.

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StreetCred is convenient. We bring services to families in a trusted, frequented location: the pediatrician’s office. Get excited for multi-tasking in the doctor’s waiting room! #2birds1stone.

Our Founders

Founders

Lucy Marcil, MD, MPH

Executive Director

LinkedIn

Lucy is a pediatrician and advocate from South Carolina who works to alleviate the health impacts of poverty. She is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Medical Center, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Boston University, and Associate Director of Economic Mobility for the Center for the Urban Child and Healthy Family. Internationally, Lucy has undertaken pediatric health-systems strengthening in Namibia, Kenya, and Bangladesh. She earned her MD from University of Pennsylvania and MPH at Johns Hopkins before completing pediatrics training at Harvard University and Boston University.

Ted Fellow

Michael Hole, MD, MBA

Board Chairman

LinkedIn

Mike is a first-generation college graduate from rural Indiana and former social worker for trafficked children turned policy professor, businessman, and street pediatrician for homeless youth. He led public-private partnerships and grassroots campaigns co-funding a Ugandan school, an orphanage in post-earthquake Haiti, and a new food product for malnourished children globally. Today, Mike is Director of Social Entrepreneurship for Texas Health CoLab at the University of Texas at Austin. He earned an MD and MBA from Stanford before residency at Harvard and Boston University. His patient’s story inspired StreetCred.

30 Under 30

Team Members

Lisia Morales

Lisia Morales

Director of Operations

Lisia Morales has been working in the non-profit industry for over 20 years. She has experience in program and project management, business development, facilitating training for adults, and teaching students. Lisia began her career as a bilingual elementary school teacher as part of Teach for America in South Phoenix, AZ. She then assumed project management roles at Engaging Schools, an educational non-profit, and later at the Zero Suicide Institute, a program focusing on suicide prevention. Lisia received a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Sociology from Wellesley College and a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. 

Lucy Colby

Lucy Colby

Tax Services & Compliance Manager

Lucy Rose is a public interest lawyer from Boston specializing in consumer financial protection. Her commitment to low-income tax assistance began in her law school’s tax clinic, where she represented clients before the IRS and the U.S. Tax Court. She has since spent numerous tax seasons as a volunteer low-income tax preparer, and has served on the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel, a citizen advisory committee to the IRS. She has a B.A. from Bard College and a J.D. from American University.

Chelsea MacDonald

Chelsea MacDonald

Program Manager

Chelsea MacDonald is a program manager from south of Boston with a background in research and strategy. She is the Chief Grants & Development Officer for an African nonprofit alleviating child poverty in Tanzania and brings that same passion to helping children domestically.

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Board of Advisors

Bob Vinci

Bob Vinci

Chief of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center 
Chair of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine

Barry Zuckerman

Barry Zuckerman

Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine 
CoFounder, Health Leads, Reach Out & Read, and Medical-Legal Partnership.

Jeff Saviano

Jeff Saviano

Global Tax Innovation Leader, EY

Lisa Chamberlain

Lisa Chamberlain

Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Chair of Policy & Community Engagement, Stanford University School of Medicine

Meeta Kothare

Meeta Kothare

Managing Director, Social Innovation Initiative, McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin

Ned Rimer

Ned Rimer

Faculty Director, Health Sector Management Program, Senior Lecturer & Executive-in-Residence, Boston University Questrom School of Business, CoFounder, Citizen Schools

Sabrina Williams

Sabrina Williams

Senior Software Engineer, Devoted Health, Former Digital Services Expert, U.S. Digital Service

Kathryn Bueker

Chief Financial Officer, HubSpot

Janet Currie

Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Policy Affairs | Co-Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing

 

Health Partners

Yale Ne Haven Health
South End Community Health Center
Boston Tax Help Coalition
Boston Medical Center
Boston Children's Hospital
People's Community Clinic
Epiphany School
Martha Elliot Health Center

Funders and Supporters

Boston Medical Center
Paul & Phyllis Fireman Foundation
Santander
The Claneil Foundation
Initiative on Cities at BU
Brandeis University Heller School for Social Policy and Management