Our Goal: Lifting 30% of families out of poverty by 2030.
How did we get to this goal?
For over 55 years, United Way of Lewis County has supported local programs that have addressed a variety of worthwhile needs in the community. From hunger to homeless, we have provided a hand up to individuals and families facing hardship. As needs in our community change, so must the way we address them. Through extensive research and community surveys, United Way has recently adopted a new strategic focus that will create long-term stability for families and children. United Way is committed to expanding opportunities for families in poverty; creating pathways to financial stability.
Our community is faced with a situation where solutions to problems do not match the barriers families face when living in poverty. This complex work cannot be tackled by one single organization - we must come together as a community and create collaborative, strategic approaches to help families move from a life of poverty, to a life of possibility.
Together, we can change the future of Lewis County.
Poverty is a critical widespread issue that demands collective action in Lewis County. It's closer to home than we realize and is more than simply a lack of economic resources. Right here in our own back yard, over 11,000 households are having to make tough choices between quality child care, transportation, healthcare, and feeding their families - that means 38% of Lewis County households are struggling to make ends meet every month, living paycheck to paycheck. The poverty rate in Lewis County is 15%, which is 3% higher than the state average of 12%. According to the Federal Government, poverty is defined as a family of four living on less than $23,850 per year. However, based on a recent United Way ALICE study (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed), families that live just above the Federal Poverty threshold represent 23% of Lewis County - our ALICE households, or the working poor.
United Way of Lewis County is implementing strategies that serve both children and their parents intentionally and simultaneously, while holding programs accountable to outcomes leading to positive changes for families. The foundation for children’s success is set in the earliest years. When children are able to learn and have the educational opportunities they need through their transitional years, they have an increased likelihood to achieve success in school and in life.
Studies also indicate children without early learning opportunities, especially those who experience poverty, will experience reduced earning potential, higher dropout rates and increased chances of incarceration. When youth do not graduate from high school, they are less likely to achieve income stability and are more likely to raise families in poverty/ALICE. For 24.5% of youth in Lewis County, poverty is impeding their educational success.
Join us to help change the story for families with children living in poverty.