We give people the education and tools to get better jobs and build a solid foundation that improves their lives and the lives of their children.
The whole community benefits when more working families and individuals are able to stop walking a financial tightrope and get on solid ground. That's why we focus on lasting solutions that go beyond charity, because financially responsible, stable people are more likely to have access to quality care, provide a good education for their children, and contribute to their local economies.
United Way's goal is to ensure that individuals and families improve their socio-economic status. Economic mobility, or the ability of an individual or family to change their financial status, can have a multi-generational, positive inmpact on overall well-being by increasing access to quality healthcare, improving housing options, and broadening educational opportunities. Yet moving up the economic ladder is difficult. Education that leads to a good job is essential.
How do we help?
The Practical Money Skills Course is a five-week course to help individuals and families build economic stability. It is a way to create a path to a stable, secure, life by looking at where you are, where you want to be, and what you need to get there. Each lesson is taught by a skilled educator. Mentors are available for questions and support outside of sessions. Those completing sessions will receive chances at incentives to help build self-sufficiency geared to those just starting out on their own or individuals and families wanting to become and stay self-sufficent. Any resident of Clinton County may attend at no cost.
ALICE, a United Way acronym that stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, represents the growing number of individuals and families who are working, but unable to afford the basic necessities.
- The United Way ALICE Project shines a light on the growing number of hard-working individuals who are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with earnings that exceed the Federal Poverty Level but fall short of a basic cost of living.
- ALICE data challenges the existing, outdated poverty level measure, with a realistic local analysis of what it takes to meet daily living expenses.
- The ALICE research is creating a realistic cost-of-living measurement. Through this new lens, we can better understand exactly how many Americans are struggling to make what it takes to survive.
- ALICE is our preschool teacher, home health aide, store clerk, and office assistant - workers essential to keeping our communities and economies humming, yet who struggle to pay their own basic bills.
- It is your newly retired parent, the veteran living next door, your sbiling who just graduated from college or your friend who is your early childhood educator.
- United Way is providing the research and bringing communities together to remove barriers so that all familiescan thrive. United Way's strategies are changing lives by helping hardworking households to:
-Afford quality child care ensuring children receive the foundation needed to prepare them to enter kindergarten ready to learn and saving the costly game of catch-up later in life.
- Equip their school-age children with sharp academic skills and practical life skills -- teamwork, communication, and critical thinking -- skills needed for success first in school and later in life.
- Manage their financial, physical, mental and/or emotional health when caring for an ailing loved one.
- Become and remain financial stable.
To see what a typical month might be like for an ALICE person (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) try our 'Iowa ALICE Simulator' at this link: http://iowa.makingtoughchoices.org/ (control-click or copy and paste into your browser)