If you prefer the executive summary, here is the report’s opening letter from United Way of the Bay Area Board Chair Beth Cobert and CEO Anne Wilson.
It has been a tough year: poverty numbers are growing, unemployment is up, and the cost of living is soaring. This has created a perfect storm for low-wage families, pushing many into dire economic straits. With poverty at such a rising tide, United Way’s work has never been more urgent.
Fortunately, people like you are standing up, lending a hand, and working to turn around our community. Thousands have joined United Way’s movement to cut Bay Area poverty in half by 2020. With your support, we continue to make progress toward our goal.
We’re making a difference for people like Sylvia, a SparkPoint client who got the support she needed to earn her college degree after more than 26 years. Read Sylvia’s story, “SparkPoint Client Earns Her Degree – 26 Years in the Making!”
In 2010-11, generous donors gave $32.7 million through the United Way campaign, thousands of volunteers gave their time, and hundreds of organizations partnered to move Bay Area families out of poverty. Your generosity touched the lives of more than a quarter-million people through United Way’s programs, including:
- 59,984 low-wage residents received free tax preparation and claimed $63.8 million in tax refunds through our Earn It! Keep It! Save It! program.
- More than 185,000 calls were answered by the 211 Bay Area helpline.
- $3.4 million in federal funds were distributed by United Way to local safety-net organizations, which served 3 million meals and provided 129,996 nights of shelter.
- More than 2,000 residents moved forward on the pathway out of poverty with the help of our SparkPoint financial coaches. Last year, 4 new SparkP oint Centers opened in the Bay Area, for a total of 8 sites.
- More than 130 young people secured professional jobs and internships through our MatchBridge youth-employment program. United Way cannot achieve our goal to cut poverty in half alone.
This year, we hosted more than 30 community conversations—bringing together leaders from business, nonprofit, government, faith, and labor organizations, and people who live in poverty—to discuss how we can achieve this goal together. More than 500 Bay Area residents shared their voices. This shaped our thinking to draft a Roadmap to Cut Poverty.
The Roadmap is our proposed action plan to fight poverty. It outlines the strategies, roles and responsibilities for the diverse stakeholders in our community. We are now in the process of taking the draft Roadmap into our community—to revise and refine it, ensuring it becomes a working document to guide hundreds of partners and thousands of individuals to work together to transform the Bay Area.
We invite you to learn more about the Roadmap and share your thoughts. Visit www.uwba.org/cut-poverty. Thank you for continuing to LIVE UNITED.