United Way Wants To Help 10,000 Area Families Escape Poverty

Posted On December 13, 2017

By Mike Perleberg

(Cincinnati, Oh.) – United Way of Greater Cincinnati has a new goal to help lift tri-state families out of poverty.

The organization announced Wednesday is dedicating 80 percent of the funds it invests in initiatives and agency partner programs to help 10,000 families out of poverty by the end of 2021.

“Poverty is the single most challenging issue facing our community,” said Julia Poston, United Way of Greater Cincinnati board chair and EY office managing partner. “Far too many people are struggling, and United Way is positioned to lead, innovate and invest in solutions that lift our community.”

The move was approved Tuesday by UWGC’s board of directors. The organization says its new goal is inclusive of the Child Poverty Collaborative’s goal of helping 5,000 families in Hamilton County and scales the goal across 10 surrounding counties in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

During the last 18 months, United Way has been working with nearly 100 community volunteers and all its agency partners on a new strategy for investments to better help people in poverty. UWGC says local nonprofits responded overwhelmingly.

“This is not business as usual,” said Rob Reifsnyder, United Way of Greater Cincinnati president. “In addition to aligning our investments to tackle poverty, United Way is working with community and agency partners to boldly change the way services and programs are delivered.”

The initiative will take a comprehensive, family-centered approach putting families in touch with “wrap around” services that meet the holistic needs of families. Organizations will directly track those families’ progress out of poverty.

“Poverty is a complex problem, and there are no simple solutions,” said Ross Meyer, United Way of Greater Cincinnati senior vice president and chief impact officer. “Isolated services and one-off programs are not sufficient. Ultimately, to reach our goal, we all need to work toward systemic change.”

More than 140 agencies have been chosen to partner with UWGC for the four-year investment cycle, which will begin in 2018. New partners could be added in two years, according to UWGC.