Search Overview


Search allows anyone in need to find free and reduced cost social service programs in their area that can serve them. When you type in your ZIP code, or the ZIP code of someone you're helping, the search will return the programs that serve that area.

From there, you can browse by category, search by keyword, program name, or organization name, and filter results to find the most relevant programs to meet their needs. You can sort results by distance or the most relevant results.



How it Works

ZIP Code Search

From the homepage, a user enters their ZIP code. The platform will look through all of the local, city, county and national programs and will show all programs that provide services in that area. This is called the program's “coverage area". A program's “coverage area” can be found in the description section of the program listing.


Each program is “tagged” with the services that it offers and those tags are represented in the category bar. By choosing one of the categories at the top, it will find all programs in the coverage area with that Main Service Tag.


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All programs in the search results will have that Main Service tag on the program card.

Programs will then be sorted based on relevance by default. Relevance boosts programs that may be more likely to help. For example, programs are boosted if they are local, serve anyone in need, the program is Claimed, etc. Similarly, if programs are not currently available, perhaps they have a waitlist, those programs will be moved down in search results as they are less likely to be able to help.


Tag Hierarchy

There are different levels of service tags. The broadest category is considered the “parent” or “first level”. Other tags underneath that broad category are called “children” or “second level” or “third level” tags.

Example: Here is a hierarchy currently in our taxonomy:

  • Mental Health Care (Parent - Level 1)

    • Anger Management (Child - Level 2)

    • Bereavement (Child - Level 2)

    • Counseling (Child - Level 2)

This allows people looking for services to browse by a broader range of services, or dig in to a specific kind of service.


Keyword Search

Keyword search allows a user to type in a keyword, program name, or Community Based Organization (CBO) name. Typeahead suggestions will appear based on program names, provider names, service tags, or serving tags.




Searching by an exact a service tag, or choosing it from typeahead will give the same results as if using the category bar, and will only show programs with that service tag. Similarly, if you search for an attribute tag, all programs in search results will have that attribute tag. When searching by an attribute tag, the same filter will be applied to the search results for that search and future searches.


By default, program results will be sorted by relevance. To determine relevance with Keyword Searches, we first look to see how the search term matches information in the program card. From there, we'll add in the other relevance factors to boost programs that are more likely to help, and lower programs that are less likely to help due to their availability.



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