A health care system addressing financial well-being as a key driver of family and child health.
Who we are
StreetCred seeks to improve health and well-being for families and children
by helping families in the United States build economic stability and mobility. Families face multiple barriers to enrollment in evidence-based government support programs and financial services such as tax credits, college savings accounts, and financial coaching, including confusing applications, long lines, time scarcity, and limited transportation options. In response, StreetCred makes it easier, faster, and cheaper for families to access these services by meeting them in a trusted, frequented, untapped location: the pediatrician's office.
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.
StreetCred launches its pilot site at Boston Medical Center, returning over $400,000 to nearly 200 families.
StreetCred expands nationally and launches the Medical Tax Collaborative (MTC) to build a movement incorporating financial wellbeing into health care. The MTC provides technical support to hospitals and health clinics working to launch their own Medical Financial Partnership. To date, we have ~30 members in 15 states and D.C.
StreetCred launched a bundled-model approach in which we systematically offer families assistance with financial coaching, enrollment in 529 college savings accounts, and tax preparation services.
Due to the pandemic, StreetCred created our first-ever virtual tax site, which creates economies of scale as we partner with community-based organizations around Boston to offer tax preparation services to children and families.
StreetCred exists to build economic well-being and improve health and health equity for families and children.
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. Cliff effects prevent families from saving and working toward economic goals. We leverage trust in health care providers paired with skilled community partners to empower people to confidently navigate the financial system.
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% 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. In total, ~10 billion annually are left on the table. These are dollars that could be helping children grow and thrive.
Our Secret Sauce
More than 90% of children visit a health care provider annually. StreetCred leverages the trusting relationship families have with their pediatricians. We partner with the IRS-sponsored Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program and other financial services to help families file taxes, maximize tax refunds, apply for other anti-poverty programs, and engage in financial coaching to work toward their self-identified economic goals. We meet families where they're at rather than expecting them to navigate confusing systems on their own.
Partner with health clinics serving high volumes of families with low income
Partner with local financial services organizations (VITA coalitions, financial capabilities organizations, etc)
Recruit and train volunteers from surrounding communities
Provide free tax preparation and wealth-building programs
Iterate and scale
Study impact on health and wealth
How StreetCred is Making a Difference
Too many eligible families have never heard of the EITC and other anti-poverty government programs.
StreetCred uses trusted relationships to educate families about 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.
StreetCred’s staff and volunteers are well-trained by partner financial capabilities organizations and certified by the IRS to walk families through filing taxes and other financial processes.
Financial services are full of hidden fees and expensive, especially when budgets are tight.
StreetCred’s services are free.
Free community resources can be challenging to access. Think: transportation problems, inflexible hours at low-paying jobs, limited child care, and inconvenient hours of operation.
StreetCred is convenient. We bring services to families in a trusted, frequented location: the pediatrician’s office. We offer in-person, over-the-phone/video, and online services to maximize options.
Lucy Marcil, MD, MPH
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.
Michael Hole, MD, MBA
Mike is a first-generation college graduate from rural Indiana and former case manager for families experiencing violence turned policy professor, businessman, street pediatrician for homeless children, and the inaugural Executive Director of Financial Health Studios at the University of Texas at Austin. He led grassroots campaigns helping to fund a Ugandan school, orphanage in post-earthquake Haiti, and new food products for malnourished youths. Mike was Butler University's top student before earning an MD and MBA from Stanford and completing residency at Harvard, where his patient's story inspired StreetCred.
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.
Chelsea MacDonald, CLC
Chelsea MacDonald is a program manager from south of Boston with a background in research and strategy. She was the Chief Grants & Development Officer for an African nonprofit alleviating child poverty in Tanzania and brings that same passion to helping children domestically. She holds BAs in Anthropology and in Fine Art from Bridgewater State University.
Stefany Araujo is a Financial Coach from central Massachusetts with a background in private wealth management and personal banking. She serves on the board of the Boston Rotaract Club, an international group that brings young adults together to give back to their community, participate in social activities, and support professional development. Stefany is a first-generation college graduate and received her B.S. from Bridgewater State University in Management with a minor in Accounting and Finance. She loves using her positive attitude and energy to encourage others to find the best in every situation.
Virtual Tax Site Coordinator
Julia has worked in the non-profit field for over 20 years, focusing her work in the social service, education, and housing sectors. Since 1995, she has been affiliated with Women’s Development Corporation (WDC), a non-profit corporation specializing in developing and managing affordable housing for low and moderate-income families, the elderly, and persons with special needs. Her roles at WDC have included: Project Manager, Interim Executive Director, and long-time Board Member. Julia has also worked for the United Way of RI and for 8 years was a devoted Board member of the Providence After School Alliance.
Julia joined StreetCred in 2019 to coordinate a Workforce Development Pilot and is currently the Site Coordinator for StreetCred’s first Virtual Tax Site. Julia has a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Colgate University and an MBA from Yale University with a concentration in non-profit management.
Tax Services Specialist
Wythnie Elysee is a Tax Services Specialist who is organized, detail-oriented, and focused on assisting taxpayers to acquire, at no cost, quality tax preparation. Her aim is to help taxpayers navigate through all their tax needs and to provide support and follow up, during challenging times. She enjoys what she does, the team she works with, and the taxpayers she serves.
Chief of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center
Chair of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
Professor and Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics, Boston University School of Medicine
CoFounder, Health Leads, Reach Out & Read, and Medical-Legal Partnership.
Global Tax Innovation Leader, EY
Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Associate Chair of Policy & Community Engagement, Stanford University School of Medicine
Chief Financial Officer, HubSpot
Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Policy Affairs | Co-Director, Center for Health and Wellbeing
Associate Chief Medical Officer
Vice President, Mission for Boston Medical Center
Director, Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP)
Associate Professor, Boston University School of Medicine
Surgical Scheduler, Boston Children's Hospital