Financial Stability Initiative

United Way Helps Our Communities Achieve Financial Stability

As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and education. Currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits. For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way is here to help.

Our Goal

To increase resiliency in our communities by providing services that equip families and individuals with the tools and resources to stay or become economicially independent. 

Our Strategy

To provide services that offer a "hand-up" to lower income families rather than a "hand-out"  We currently fund services that assist families with job skills training, counseling services to address on-going areas that may be affecting their ability to obtain/retain employment, scholarships for qualifying families to provide quality day-care, and many other services.  As you can see, our strategy is to reduce the number of barriers that prevent individuals and families from becoming self-sufficient. 

Our Results

With your help, we believe that we can help working families get on the road to economic independence. Check below to see how your investment is working in this area already: 
  • In partnership with CareerTec and RAMP, we are working to connect high school students with employers for a program called UNITE! Students receive real-world experience for life after graduation. In the program's first year:
    • 3,374 students received access to UNITE! 
    • 125 employers signed up to connect with students 
    • 39 job shadow, company tour, or internship requests were made 
  • In 2017/2018 Under E.A.R.N. (Employment Access Ridership Network), more than 2,000 rides to and from work in partnership with the City of Freeport and Berner Food and Beverage. A survey conducted in August of 2018 showed:
    • Nearly half of respondents had been using the transportation for a six months or more 
    • 95% of respondents reported that the transportation allows them to make it to work each day 
    • 90% of respondents reported that they have been able to save funds because of the transportation
"Without a car, the availability of this transportation has helped me tremendously" - rider for over a year 
"This gave me a chance to get back and forth from work, due to not having transportation" - rider for 6+ months


More Information 

For access to additional resources and information, please visit the United Way MySmartMoney website. You can find:
  • Information for Immediate needs:
    • If you experience an emergency.
    • If you are struggling to pay bills.
    • If you are feeling financially unstable. 
  • Information on how to plan for the future, specifically:
    • Financial products
    • Starting a family
    • Living on your own
    • Providing for a family
    • Later in life
    • Starting a job 
  • A financial health calculator to help you understand where you stand financially. 
Updated 8/30/2018