United Way unveils agency alignment

United Way of Greater Cincinnati on Monday disclosed more details about its new agency alignment, nearly 20 percent of which are new and 25 percent which are Black-led.

“I am excited to pass on the names of those partners and to share the opportunity areas they are working on,” said Moira Weir, United Way’s president and chief executive officer. “I expect great things from these partnerships. We are bringing new voices and new solutions to decades-old challenges.”

Moira Weir

Last month, United Way announced a new systems-change approach in which it will invest $11.4 million in 86 partners working toward community change, focused on helping Greater Cincinnati families achieve economic well-being.

A number of long-standing United Way partners are no longer being funded. For those, United Way provided six months of additional funding ending next month. Those agencies will also receive money designated to them by donors from last year’s campaign.

Beginning July 2022, six groups of systems change partners will work toward United Way’s goals.

Below is a summary of the portfolios:

NEXTGEN SUCCESS:

FINANCIAL EMPOWERMENT FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGH COORDINATED EDUCATIONAL AND WORKFORCE PATHWAYS

Opportunity:

Ensure youth from low-income communities have supportive and coordinated pathways toward economic well-being through continuing education or connection to employment after high school.

Challenge:

While there is an abundance of youth-focused services with diverse expertise and deep understanding of the needs of youth across our region, there is no clear path for youth from lower-income families to take that enables longer-term economic well-being. Youth often fall through the cracks as they transition from child and youth programs into adult-focused supports. The pathways that do exists may only be offered in certain schools or communities and may not fully consider the other challenges youth are facing, such as being involved in child welfare system. This is holding young people back from reaching their full potential.

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $1,350,000 in 12 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
  • Breakthrough Cincinnati, Inc.
  • Children’s Law Center
  • Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
  • Covington Partners
  • YMCA of Greater Cincinnati – Cradle to Career Cincinnati
  • Found Village
  • GRAD Cincinnati, Inc.
  • High Achievers Aim High
  • Lighthouse Youth & Family Services
  • National Network of Youth Ministries
  • The DAD Initiative, Inc

EQUITABLE ECONOMIC MOBILITY:

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO EMPLOYMENT & EQUITABLE ASSET BUILDING

Opportunity:

Enable equitable economic mobility by addressing the systemic barriers that get in the way of accessing and retaining good jobs, including self-employment, for individuals with low income. Asset building provides greater opportunities for families to sustain intergenerational economic well-being.

Challenge:

Key structural challenges continue to hold many individuals back from achieving economic mobility, such as how public benefits are designed, broad employer practices, limited access to critical work supports, embedded inequities in economic development and access to financial products that can drive asset-building. Nonprofit partners often seek to address these challenges through programmatic workarounds. Ultimately, lasting change will require policy changes and efforts that influence practice change within our local economy.

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $2,120,000 in 16 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • BAWAC, Inc.
  • Center for Employment Opportunities, Inc.
  • Cincinnati Works
  • Collective Empowerment Group
  • Easterseals Serving Greater Cincinnati
  • GENERATION NOW
  • Greater Cincinnati Microenterprise Initiative
  • IKRON Corporation
  • Life Learning Center
  • Madisonville Education and Assistance Center
  • Madisonville Mission Ministries
  • Mercy Neighborhood Ministries
  • MORTAR
  • New Horizons Rehabilitation, Inc.
  • Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission
  • Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio

HOUSING FIRST:

BUILDING STRONG FINANCIAL FOUNDATIONS THROUGH STABLE HOUSING

Opportunity:

Build stability in the financial foundations of families in low-income communities by addressing quality and affordability in housing through locally informed and regional collaboration.

Challenge:

Housing is a regional challenge that is interconnected with economic well-being, yet it looks very different depending on the specific region, neighborhood or family in need. While there are many innovations and efforts taking place across the region to address affordable housing, these efforts are segmented and may not fully consider the unique history or current conditions of the community. There is a need to recognize the importance of differences in approaches while leveraging collective efforts to create systems change.

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $2,425,000 in 15 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • Brighton Center, Inc.
  • Brighton Properties, Inc.
  • Caracole, Inc.
  • Center for Great Neighborhoods of Covington
  • Clermont County Community Services, Inc.
  • Community Matters Cincinnati, Inc.
  • Cornerstone Renter Equity
  • Housing Opportunities Made Equal
  • Legal Aid of the Bluegrass
  • Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
  • Lincoln Heights Outreach Inc.
  • Santa Maria Community Services
  • Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses
  • Welcome House, Inc.
  • Working In Neighborhoods

READY KIDS, RESILIENT FAMILIES:

TRANSFORMING THE EARLY EDUCATION SYSTEM OF CARE TO SUPPORT THE RESILIENCY OF KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES

Opportunity:


Help children be ready for kindergarten through a stronger, interconnected early education and a childcare system that builds family resiliency and economic well-being.

Challenge:

COVID-19 revealed the importance of an accessible and affordable early education and childcare sector for families of all incomes. Without early education and care providers, families may not be able to maintain employment and young children miss out on support during the most critical years of brain development. Additionally, some families, such as those experiencing homelessness or housing instability, have challenges accessing childcare and education that meets their family’s needs. COVID-19 surfaced the deep relationships that providers have with families, as they are often the first to know about a job loss, housing challenge or family health issue. It is critical for the sector to leverage these relationships in new ways ensuring children are offered the best early education possible while supporting the resiliency of the whole family.

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $2,385,000 in 11 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • 4C for Children
  • Bethany House Services, Inc.
  • Best Point Behavioral Health (formerly The Children’s Home of Cincinnati)
  • Child Focus, Inc.
  • Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development
  • Every Child Succeeds
  • Found House Interfaith Housing Network (formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Cincinnati, Inc.)
  • Learning Grove
  • Redwood
  • Seedsowers Inc. dba In GOD’S Hands Christian Youth Center
  • YWCA Greater Cincinnati

IMPROVED PREVENTION, STRONGER COMMUNITIES:

SCALING TRAUMA-INFORMED APPROACHES TO STRENGTHEN COMMUNITY WELL-BEING

Opportunity:

Strengthen families and communities through broad preventive efforts and adoption of trauma-informed practices so fewer families need social services. 

Challenge:

Getting “upstream” in our solutions will require us to engage whole communities differently as we seek to build resiliency, promote preventative services, and adopt new behaviors as a nonprofit sector. Too often, families seek help only after they have experienced trauma. Wellness, particularly considering COVID-19 experiences, will require a preventative focus on addressing mental health and the negative stigmas associated with seeking help. 

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $1,485,000 in 14 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati
  • Central Clinic Behavioral Health
  • Family Nurturing Center
  • Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services
  • Holly Hill Child & Family Solutions
  • Jurisdiction-wide Resident Advisory Board (J-RAB Inc)
  • Mental Health America of Northern Kentucky & Southwest Ohio
  • One Community, One Family
  • Safe Passage, Inc.
  • SJO Kids Inc dba NewPath Child & Family Solutions
  • Talbert House
  • Consortium for Resilient Young Children – a collaborative managed by Best Point Behavioral Health
  • The Ion Center for Violence Prevention (formerly Women’s Crisis Center)
  • Youth Encouragement Services, Inc.

RESPONDING TO COMMUNITY NEEDS:

IMPROVING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE NONPROFIT SYSTEM OF CARE TO RESPOND TO COMMUNITY NEEDS

Opportunity:

Ensure community members can access the right service at the right time by improving the responsiveness and effectiveness of the nonprofit service system of care through coordination, information sharing and data-informed approaches.

Challenge:

While our region is rich with community resources, too often information about existing resources is not easily accessible to community members and partners. Nonprofit partners and community members see the need for building stronger connections across the sector, yet there is also an important place for specialized services – especially when addressing time-sensitive challenges such as mental health concerns or family violence. There’s opportunity to improve community information sharing, streamline access and connect across systems of care to meet community needs and fill gaps.

Portfolio Composition:

Investment of $1,575,000 in 18 partners

Systems Change Partners:

  • Adams Brown Counties Economic Opportunities, Inc.
  • Beech Acres Parenting Center
  • Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio & Su Casa Hispanic Center
  • Cincinnati Union Bethel, doing business as HER Cincinnati
  • Cincinnati-Hamilton County Community Action Agency
  • Clearinghouse
  • FamiliesFORWARD
  • Freestore Foodbank
  • Health Care Access Now
  • Jewish Family Service of the Cincinnati Area
  • Last Mile Food Rescue, Inc.
  • Pro Seniors, Inc.
  • RefugeeConnect
  • Safety Net Alliance of Northern Kentucky
  • Strategies to End Homelessness
  • The Bail Project, Inc.
  • The Healing Center
  • Women Helping Women

United Way cautioned that the 86 are not the only organizations it is funding.

“In total, we invested $25 million in solutions and services,” said Weir. “United Way chose the systems-change partners based on their alignment with our new focus and their work in our opportunity areas. If you do not see your favorite organization listed, know our decision is not a judgment of their work. Many have been great partners doing tremendous work. We also support or partner with many beyond this funding opportunity.”

Leave a Reply