There have been over 50 million unique users that have visited the needhelppayingbills.com website since we launched in 2008. If you count the total visitors, that number is much higher as many people have come back multiple times over the years. Note that count is from public sources such as similarweb.com as well as google adwords among others and is not the visitor count data from our internal logs, which is confidential and which we do not publicize.
As we always say, the assistance programs, whether they are offered from the government, charities, or another source always change. Funding comes and goes, programs and agencies may change their names, organizations shut down, and things evolve over time. So there are never any promises to getting the help you need, but we hope that many of those 50 million people were able to find assistance or maybe the information they found on the site put them on the right path to help them find what they need.
50 million is about 15% of the population, and if you look at the number of Americans who are in poverty (low 40 millions) that is every single one and then some. Of course many people use the site that have a low to moderate income (and are not in poverty) but have a one time financial emergency. In addition, the 50 million includes public access points such as libraries, job centers, etc as many struggling individuals do not have easy access to internet. And those libraries would be used by tens or hundreds of unique people…so the 50 million compounds as it does not count multiple users of the same computer.
The economy is obviously much stronger today than it was during 2008, when the great recession was starting. The unemployment rates peaked at about 10% in 2009, and now it is down to 4.1%, so tens of millions more Americans have jobs. But the vast majority of people still leave paycheck to paycheck, and many are always one high unexpected bill (car repair, medical, etc.) or illness away from a financial crisis. Not to mention that most Americans also live beyond their means and chase material goods, which also puts them at risk when the economy turns for the worse…which it will someday. No one can ever be fully confident in todays’s day and age.
We continue to work on the site. We add programs, provide information to those who email us, blog, and perform many other activities for the community. Our goal is to continue to provide information on how to get financial assistance, and our dream is maybe someday there will not be a need for this site as all 330 million + Americans are in great financial shape, with enough savings to account for a rainy day and the next, inevitable recession. Yes, it is a dream we know, but still would be nice if no one ever needed this site.
I would like to thank the staff and contractors we have used over the years at needhelppayingbills, our IT partners, the users of the site for their feedback, community forum participants, and others for their continued support. As we said, there are no promises to ever receiving financial help, and we would think a number of those 50 million visitors did not get the assistance they need for any number of reasons…lack of charitable funding, their income did not qualify them, they are in too dire of financial straits and given them support would be a waste of money, etc.
While we know many people will not be assisted, heck, even if just one child gets the food they need today from a free food pantry that they found on the site or a government program then we can feel good about what we are doing here. We do know many more find help, but even if one more kid eats today and does not go hungry then that is a great thing.