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Safety Net Innovation

Supporting innovative and collaborative approaches to safety net service delivery and poverty alleviation



The Y & H Soda Foundation is committed to the principle that everyone has a basic human right to adequate food, shelter, and safety.

A person or family cannot fully participate and prosper in society unless their basic needs have first been met; strong and accessible safety net services are a necessary precondition for poverty alleviation.  

We created our Safety Net Innovation Fund to support innovative, collaborative approaches to safety net service delivery and poverty prevention. The goal of the Fund is to re-envision the traditional model of a "net" that catches people when they fall into a “springboard” that both catches people and also propels them upwards toward self-sufficiency. We recognize that the philanthropic community has an important role to play in partnering with other sectors in addressing the root causes of poverty and therefore commit to using both our financial and human capital to strengthening the social safety net in the East Bay.

Note: We define safety net issues as hunger/food security, shelter/housing, domestic and family violence, and economic security.


Our Strategies

We invest in collaborative safety net projects that meet the following criteria: 

  • Innovative, collaborative projects that bring together stakeholders from across sectors (nonprofit, government, for-profit) to re-envision and reshape safety net service delivery.

  • Prevention-based “upstream” approaches that will reduce the need for more costly “downstream” interventions in the future.

  • Evidenced-based, best practice models. 

  • Clear programmatic theories of change that lay out intended impacts and outcomes, program models, and how progress will be measured.

  • "Collective Impact" models of collaboration, featuring a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone organization. 

Our Desired Outcomes:

  • More effective models of safety net service delivery are developed and implemented.

  • Programmatic integration between providers is improved. 

  • Cross-sector partnerships are strengthened..

  • More resources are shifted toward prevention-based programs. 


Grantee Spotlight

Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance

Family Justice Centers are warm and welcoming one-stop centers for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, and human trafficking. When survivors of interpersonal violence seek help, they are often frustrated by a fractured system.  They may have to visit multiple locations and tell their stories repeatedly.  These hurdles can discourage their efforts and cause many people to simply stop seeking help.  A family justice center brings together public and private partners under one roof to provide wraparound services.  For families seeking services, coming to one location is faster, more immediately helpful, and far less expensive than traveling to multiple locations throughout the county.  Victims no longer need to tell their stories multiple times, papers are filed right away, and cases are completed more quickly, with the ultimate result that families can be safer sooner.  

The Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance has launched two new centers, one in Richmond serving West Contra Costa residents, and one in Concord, serving Central and East Contra Costa residents.  The Family Justice Center model is a Department of Justice certified best practice model that has been documented to increase safety by helping survivors recover faster and more completely from their abuse.




Collective Impact Forum

The Collective Impact Forum provides tools, advice, research, and networking resources for practitioners of Collective Impact Initiatives.