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January 23, 2014 in Collective Impact, Event, Homelessness, Poverty

Statewide Partnership for Good

by Ellie Krug, Call for Justice

National United Way 2-1-1

“In America the recession is over, and U.S. corporations and Wall Street are doing better than ever. Yet 46% of this country is living in poverty, or near poverty, and today we have the highest number of poor since we began keeping records…” –Harry & Joe Gantz (producers of AMERICAN WINTER)

In a society with declining safety nets and cuts to social services programs, many people—honest, hard-working people—are falling through the cracks. Whether it’s the sudden loss of a job, the absence of a partner, or the unanticipated medical emergency, there are those who find themselves unexpectedly in need of help, with no direction to go.

So what do they do? They call United Way 2-1-1. Read the rest of this entry →


September 5, 2013 in Education, Poverty, Volunteering

American Student Learns Valuable Lessons

by MaryBeth Zins

As the summer draws to a close and I prepare to return to finish my last year of undergraduate studies at University of Wisconsin – Madison, I reflect on a great opportunity that I had this summer as part of a three-week volunteer trip to India. I know not all young people and children around the world are returning to the same circumstances as me – not all schools are created equal, but witnessing first-hand the vast inequalities around the world is eye-opening and enlightening.

Sector 3, Faridabad, IndiaDuring my visit I very quickly learned the first rule of India: there is always more. There is always more room, more time, more people, more food, more prayer. But sadly, for Indian school children, there may not be more school supplies, more seats in the classroom, or more teachers to teach them. Three other female volunteers and I were placed to teach English in Little Angels Public School in Faridabad, 25km south of New Delhi. The 15-minute walk to school from our home stay was an adventure in itself as we sidestepped cows, bicycles, burning piles of trash, stray dogs, and bathing men and children. READ MORE

College: Is it worth it?

May 17, 2013 in Conversation, Education, Poverty

According to data collected on the cost of Minnesota education, the average student loan debt is $29,793 – the third highest average debt in the country, especially when 58% of the open jobs in Minnesota don’t require any education beyond high school. So, what do you think?

Is college really worth the expense?
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Talking About Barriers to Employment, a conversation exploring the various employment obstacles facing Minnesota’s would-be job seekers.

Unemployed. Unwanted.

May 3, 2013 in Conversation, Jobs & Training, Poverty

If you work for a nonprofit, how are you reaching out to the long-term unemployed?

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Talking About Barriers to Employment, a conversation exploring the various employment obstacles facing Minnesota’s would-be job seekers.

Faces of Poverty: Talking About Barriers to Employment

April 3, 2013 in Conversation, Jobs & Training, Poverty, Uncategorized

Finding a job, even in an improving economy, has gotten much more complicated. Once upon a time, the get-a-good-education mantra held true for most Americans seeking upward mobility and a middle class existence. Increasingly, though, finding a life-sustaining career that justifies a costly education is a tough proposition for many young people.

Later this month, we’ll explore the various employment obstacles facing Minnesota’s would-be job seekers in United Way’s continuing online conversation series, Faces of Poverty. REGISTER NOW

Minnesota FoodShare Month

March 4, 2013 in Health, Hunger, Poverty

One in 5 families with children in the metro struggle to put food on the table. Since 2000, food shelves have experienced a 125% increase in usage. Greater Twin Cities United Way invests $5 million annually on hunger relief. Currently, 26 hunger programs (55 sites) are receiving multi-year grants including, food shelves, on-site meal programs and food banks. United Way has strategically looked at the emergency food system to determine how to meet the growing hunger need in the metro. In addition to United Way partnership with hunger relief organizations, we strategically partner with the government, food corporations, faith community, public health and the agricultural. READ MORE about what United Way is doing to support the campaign.

Talking About Poverty and Education

January 23, 2013 in Conversation, Education, Events, Poverty

Join us for an online conversation focused on children in poverty and the importance of education.

Nearly 200,000 children ages 0 to 17 are living in poverty in Minnesota, a 60 percent increase since 2000. Not only are the numbers of children in poverty growing, the depth of poverty is growing as well. In that same time period, the number of children living in extreme poverty ($11,525 for a family of four) increased by more than 100 percent (Children’s Defense Fund—Minnesota, 2012). Education and poverty form a close and complex interrelationship for children in our community.

Building on United Way’s Faces of Poverty 2012 report, the new briefing illustrates how education can improve children’s lives, and also outlines the work United Way is leading to help children in our community succeed. DOWNLOAD BRIEF


There’s Still Plenty to Talk About.

December 18, 2012 in Conversation, Health, Homelessness, Jobs & Training, Poverty

Last March when United Way launched its conversation series, Faces of Poverty, our goal was to have an open and honest discussion about how living in poverty impacts the lives of individuals and families in our community. And while we weren’t sure where the conversation would take us, we felt a sense of responsibility as one of the largest funders of social service programs in the Twin Cities whose very mission is to build pathways out of poverty, to lead by example. Read the rest of this entry →

Conversation LIVE

October 11, 2012 in Conversation, Poverty

Think about this:  Between 2010 and 2030, the number of adults age 65+ is expected to nearly double, while the number of younger residents will increase only modestly. (State Demographer)

Once seniors fall into poverty, it is much tougher for them to escape than it is for younger people. Among the 65+ population that falls into poverty, 31% remain poor for 10 or more years compared to 11% for the younger population. (Public Policy Institute, 2003)

As the baby boomer generation ages, this huge demographic shift will affect our state’s workforce, health and human services agencies, and beyond.

Setting the stage for the demographic trend of aging baby boomers, United Way will release its third poverty brief and online conversation on United Front in October.

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July 20, 2012 in Conversation, Homelessness, Jobs & Training, Poverty, Uncategorized

Grant Abbott, a Faces of Poverty participant, posed the question we’re talking about now: are people equally free?

“I would like to say something about why talking about poverty is so difficult in this country. I believe it is difficult because it gets at the heart of the American myth of a free society in which hard-working individuals can lift themselves up and out of poverty. Poverty raises very difficult questions for this myth. Are people equally free? What is the impact of racism on people’s ability to work themselves out of poverty? Does the wealth gap between the rich and the bottom half of the population create such an unfair advantage that government needs to address it?…”Grant Abbott, Interim Executive Director, Episcopal Community Services of Minnesota

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