"Our Bold Goal: Elevating 30% of Families from Poverty by 2030"
How Did We Chart Our Course?
For over five decades, your unwavering support of United Way of Lewis County has been instrumental in tackling pressing community issues like hunger, homelessness, and poverty. Your generosity has extended a helping hand to individuals and families facing adversity, leaving a lasting imprint on thousands of lives within our community.
In 2017, United Way's Board of Directors embarked on a transformative journey, embracing a bold strategic goal with unanimous agreement: to effect genuine change in our community, we needed to address systemic social issues head-on. The challenges before us demand a level of collaboration that transcends the capabilities of any single organization.
Through rigorous research, community dialogues, and consultations with influential leaders and stakeholders, United Way of Lewis County adopted a new strategic goal that focuses on establishing enduring stability for families. We are dedicated to broadening the horizons for families grappling with poverty, forging pathways to financial security through our visionary 'Cradle to Career and Beyond' strategic framework. To shatter the cycle of poverty affecting over 13,000 families in Lewis County, we recognized the imperative to make courageous decisions and overhaul strategies that have proven ineffective. Our community finds itself in a conundrum where conventional solutions don't always align with the complex barriers faced by families living in poverty.
The time has come for our community to unite, to collectively engineer strategic approaches that empower families to transcend a life of hardship and embrace a life of prosperity.
Our Fresh Approach: Spotlighting Educational Initiatives for Transformative Careers. We are lending our support to five key sectors to propel this new vision forward."
Learn more about our impact in these five sectors by visiting our impact page!
Did you know...
- 47% of Lewis County households struggle to meet their most basic needs (of this, 33% represent the ALICE population - Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed)
For children under 18 years old, nearly 20% are living in poverty in Lewis County.
The largest expense for a family of four is child care, representing over 23% of a household budget. (~$1,200/month)
Only 52% of Lewis County children enter Kindergarten ready to learn.
Poverty is a huge issue and is bigger than any one person or organization can tackle alone. That’s why the role of your United Way is evolving; leading the movement to bring the community together to support our struggling families on a deeper level. Right here in our own back yard, over 13,000 households are having to make tough choices between quality child care, transportation, healthcare, and feeding their families. When communities have high poverty rates, the need for public assistance increases, economic development suffers, and crime rates soar.
The poverty rate in Lewis County is 14%, which is 3% higher than the state average of 11%. According to the Federal Government, poverty is defined as a family of four living on less than $24,300 per year. However, based on the recent United Way ALICE study, families that live just above the Federal Poverty threshold represent 33% of Lewis County - our ALICE households, or the working poor.
Studies 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. The foundation for children’s success is set in the earliest years.