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Project Cohere

Designing a streamlined process for energy assistance in Michigan

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Every year, nearly one million low-income michigan residents struggle to pay for heat and electricity, navigating a complex process to access $150 million in available aid

Civilla partnered with a coalition of for-profit, non-profit, and government agencies to pilot a streamlined application process for energy assistance.

Working side-by-side with Michigan residents and frontline staff, the team learned about the challenges posed by the legacy application process. The team then worked to redesign service delivery and make improvements across policy, business process, and technology. The Cohere pilot launched a text message-based application, built on data sharing across agencies and minimum viable data collection.

The streamlined process reduced the burden of applying and determining eligibility – helping more residents access assistance in less time. More broadly, the pilot also demonstrated what’s possible when cross-sector organizations collaborate to provide a single front door for residents accessing assistance.

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