Starlight and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners Join Forces to Empower Low-Wage Workers and Increase Access to Government Benefits

Starlight, a technology startup that streamlines access to government benefits to help households achieve financial health, is proud to partner with Neighborhood Trust Financial Partner, a financial services innovator making financial security possible for all workers. 

Every year, $140 billion in government benefits goes unclaimed, leaving many individuals and households without the assistance they are entitled to. Among those most affected are low-wage workers who face the brunt of rising inflation. Most commonly, workers who are eligible for government benefits face two major challenges: lack of awareness regarding their eligibility and difficulties navigating the complex application process. 

Through Starlight’s technology platform, Neighborhood Trust clients are now able to receive personalized guidance and coaching to help them navigate government application processes end-to-end. The initial pilot focused on helping clients access the Affordable Connectivity Program, a federal program that subsidizes the cost of home internet. Clients found value in how Starlight “stayed with me every step of the way,” provided “trustworthy information that was tailored to my needs”, and “helped me realize I am able to save $1,200 on my internet bill.” 

"Our partnership with Starlight has made it possible for Financial Coaches to walk clients through the process of accessing government benefits in a quicker and easier manner. By doing so, we are reducing our clients' financial stress and burden, and freeing up funds for building an emergency fund and other financial goals," said Nathalie Baez, Associate Director of Programs at Neighborhood Trust.

“Starlight is committed to helping scale the impact of financial empowerment centers like Neighborhood Trust,” said Catherine Xu, Co-Founder of Starlight. “Our goal is to use technology and AI to improve access to government benefits, and work with institutions people already know and trust.” 

Starlight and Neighborhood Trust are both funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, whose support was critical to this partnership. Looking ahead, Starlight plans to expand its platform to other underutilized benefits, such as cell phone subsidies and utilities assistance, and expand its AI capabilities to provide coaching for benefits access at scale. By modernizing government benefits through technology, Starlight, Neighborhood Trust, and Robin Hood Foundation are committed to fostering financial health and empowering low-wage workers across the nation.

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