Within Reach

Our History

Within Reach was originally established in 2010 as Hygiea Inc. The mission and vision remain the same. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization bridging the rifts that separate those in need from the charities that facilitate a higher quality of life. 

In the years before the incorporation of Hygiea, the founders, Bjorn Knudsen and his father, Chris Knudsen, experienced difficulty in finding services for their loved one, mother and wife Christine Knudsen, who was diagnosed with cancer.  Throughout her illness, the two found the search for resources difficult.  Too often they discovered resources only in a hit-and-miss fashion.  Together they noticed an absence of a comprehensive resource to bridge between cancer resources and a higher quality of life. 

Bjorn Knudsen had only just returned from studying International Social Work in the United Kingdom and compared his experience with the National Health Care system of the UK to the healthcare in the United States. The two developed the vision of a system that was as comprehensive as the National Health Care of the United Kingdom, but retained the freedom of innovation and creativity of United States entrepreneurship. They set out on a quest to build a comprehensive and modern resource that could be easily accessed by anyone.

The founders’ collaboration through the fields of social work and technology found their solution in the form of modern marketing technology, social networking, and user-driven media. The vision was to develop an organization that would easily identify services and resources for individuals and create avenues of access to those charitable organizations providing the services through the use of technology.

The founders then began to establish a Board of Directors with the same goals and were involved in the communities of Southern California. The Board of Directors now includes, Chris Knudsen, Edward Tsai, Dr. Edina Martinez, and Sahand Mirzahossein, with Bjorn Knudsen as the Executive Director.

Hygiea Inc. received its tax exemption status from the IRS on June 16th, 2012. On October 1, 2012 Hygiea Inc. changed its name to Within Reach. Within Reach has begun serving residents of the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, CA and is developing partnerships with non-profits in the area.

Within Reach

The name Within Reach was inspired by the research of Scott W. Allard from the University of Chicago. His research studied the effects of geography on poverty in three large American cities, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington D.C. The publication of this research was entitled Out of Reach: Place, Poverty, and the New American Welfare State (2009). The results of the study were that “place matters” and that many social service agencies, which constitute a substantial portion of the safety net, are located far away from the people they serve.

“If it is difficult to visit a social service agency, owing to either the great distance that must be traveled or the complexities of fitting visits into complex work and child care schedules, it will be difficult to receive assistance. In a neighborhood distant from service organizations, help can be difficult to find and access.” – Out of Reach p.2

At Within Reach our goal is a help alleviate this problem by bringing resources to people in need wherever they may be through the use of technology. We also want to provide a more accurate picture of the social service sector for the average person, thus making it easy for them to the find services closest to them.

Within Reach