Every day, people in Central Jersey struggle with economic issues that may seem impossible to solve.
Families who can’t afford to put food on their tables. Homeless veterans who can’t access help to get off the street. Unemployed youth who lack skills training needed for a good job that offers a living wage. These are tough problems that threaten the future of individuals and communities.
And it’s just gotten worse during the pandemic. More than 225 million jobs have been lost globally, with U.S. job losses especially impacting women, people of color, and low-wage workers. The pandemic has exacerbated systemic racial and ethnic inequities that disproportionately impact people of color.
For example, pre-pandemic data showed that Black Americans were already earning less, were far less likely to own their homes and tend to live shorter lives than white Americans. During the pandemic, the majority of Latino (72%), Black (60%) and Native American (55%) households in the U.S. are reporting serious financial problems, versus 27% of Asian and 36% of white households, studies show. In Central Jersey child food insecurity more than doubled, from 8.9% to over 18%.
That’s why United Way is working to improve financial stability for everyone, in every community we serve. Across a global network of nearly 1,200 United Ways, we’re offering financial coaching for families. We’re connecting veterans and others to housing, mental health services and other community support systems. And we’re working with people and educators to offer training for in-demand jobs.
United Way impacts 48 million people globally. In Central Jersey, we have been able to:
- Provide assistance with rent, utilities and food for families who have been struggling been struggling economically year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes 214 adults and 314 children.
- Our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program prepared 3,402 returns, generated $1.9 million in Federal and State returns and $295,000 in EITC and $285,000 Child Care Credits.
- Through our Gifts in Kind program, Stuff the Bus school supply drive and our current summer food drive, families with young children are able to stretch their limited resources with needed items like diapers and formula, school supplies and nutritious food.
- 545 families with 394 children had a brighter holiday season thanks to our Gifts of the Season program.
United Way does more than raise money. We are the problem solvers, the hand raisers. We are the game changers. We surround a community’s most critical problems—and we fight. With our partners—including 45,000+ companies across the globe—we’re offering hope and help where it’s needed the most.
We are building stronger communities, but there’s still so much more to do. Around the world and in our own backyard, we’re fighting to build jobs and an economy that will fuel a better tomorrow. Find out how to get involved at www.uwcj.org.
*From UWW’s most recent Global Results Framework, found here