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Molly McLeod / Code for America

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Tiffani Ashley Bell keeps the water on

Bell is No. 71 on the Recode 100.

Rani Molla is a senior correspondent at Vox and has been focusing her reporting on the future of work. She has covered business and technology for more than a decade — often in charts — including at Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.

Tiffani Ashley Bell is trying to solve the water problem in America.

The Rails developer and Y Combinator alumna founded The Human Utility, an online platform to help low-income households in Detroit and Baltimore pay their water bills by connecting donors around the world with Americans in need. Utility companies shut off water to households that can’t afford their water bills, forcing low-income families to live without basic necessities.

In 2017, the nonprofit assisted 800 people — more than 300 of whom were children. Since 2014, it has assisted approximately 1,000 families and saved over 40 homes in jeopardy from water bill-related tax sale and foreclosure.

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