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Government can work for the people, by the people, in the digital age. This is the founding vision of Code for America — a vision of every government service being simple, reliable, and easy to use, that people are served with dignity and that outcomes are measurably better.

At Code for America, we help make government services work, starting with people who need them most. The clients we serve are often among the most vulnerable in our society and are at risk of persistent poverty and incarceration. Building a great digital service alongside our government partners is only one part of what is needed to serve people. We also have to employ strategies to effectively reach people where they are to facilitate greater access to these services.

Government’s scale uniquely positions it to make a positive impact on low income Americans’ everyday lives in a way few institutions can. Tools of the digital age, including online advertising, can help leverage that scale quickly and effectively. This playbook aims to share the lessons we’ve learned working with vulnerable populations, so that ultimately they have greater awareness of and access to the services they need.

This playbook is for nonprofits, community-based organizations, and governments who serve people who are eligible for government safety-net and criminal justice services, people with low incomes, and people in contact with the justice system.

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Reaching vulnerable populations where they are — online