Special Initiatives

As part of its work to help the residents of Chester County enhance their lives, United Way of Chester County mobilizes resources to bring about improvements in the community. Meaningful, sustainable changes require a comprehensive approach including clearly identifying pressing community issues, establishing priorities, creating partnerships, developing change strategies, and activating needed resources.

The Financial Stability Center continues to expand its footprint to serve more individuals and families motivated to improve their financial condition and become self-sufficient.  In May 2014, PA CareerLink®-Chester County and United Way Financial Stability Center joined forces under one roof creating easy access to a coordinated network of employment and financial stability services provided by various partners. This one of kind partnership in Pennsylvania has yielded a collaborative spirit among 20+ service providers and steady utilization of multiple services for local jobseekers.

UWCC ignited and leads this public-private partnership to build financial self-sufficiency. More than 25 partners from government, non-profit, financial institutions and businesses are dedicated to maintaining a cohesive and comprehensive network of services to support and grow financially stable individuals and families in Chester County.  Our goal is to empower families to move away from crisis financial management, meet essential needs, maximize financial resources and plan for the future.

In its 11th year this program, operated by Life Transforming Ministries with the assistance of numerous community volunteers, submitted 1,500 returns, yielding $3 million dollars in returns in 2015 tax season compared to 1241 returns and $2 million dollars in 2014.

Since it’s inception is 2005, United Way has engaged Good Works and Good Neighbors to winterize and repair homes for over nearly 420 families living in deteriorating housing conditions, investing in over three quarters of a million dollars ($767,206).  In 2014-2015, just over $37,000 was invested providing long term capital improvements reducing home fuel costs and keeping 34 families in their homes, including single mothers, elderly residents, the disabled and the unemployed.

United Way is committed to ending homelessness in Chester County along with many others sharing this vision.  We are working together to change how we do business and investing in strategies that more effectively and efficiently serve homeless individuals and families in the local community. Through Decade to Doorways, we join dozens of other organizations with a goal of creating a system that will PREVENT, DIVERT, and RAPIDLY RE-HOUSE, rather than merely manage homelessness.

Understanding the needs of the community is key in knowing where to invest donor contributions.  RoadMAPP to Health is now in the reassessment phase of a community assessment process that was initially completed in January 2013. UWCC plays a critical role in the continual countywide health assessment with a strong emphasis on community engagement and collaboration for system-level planning after identifying assets and needs of the Chester County community.

UWCC supports youth development efforts, and serves on the steering committee of the Coatesville Youth Initiative, ensuring healthy, safe out of school time activities and opportunities for at-risk youth to reach their full potential. The coalition focuses its work on increasing parental engagement, providing youth with additional mentoring relationships and leadership opportunities, making the pathway to post secondary education and entry into workforce more accessible and facilitating better program coordination across youth serving services in greater Coatesville.

UWCC links corporate and civic volunteers with valuable community service projects. These projects help non profit organizations offset costs that can then be directed to program services. In 2014-2015, there were  participating corporations, and 412 volunteers who worked a collective 1320 hours, generating $29,777 worth of manpower and savings to the agencies that serve our community.

UWCC leads a partnership with West Chester University and the Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry to provide a comprehensive training program educating and preparing talented board leadership for stronger nonprofits and a safe, vibrant community of caring. Monthly sessions begin in October and end in early May. Since 2002, LCC has strengthened 315 nonprofit organizations by training nearly 345 business and professional individuals to effectively fill board positions.

Need help but not sure where to start? 2-1-1 is the place for residents in need of social service assistance ranging from domestic violence hotlines to elderly or homeless housing assistance to simple assistance in paying utility bills  to find local resources for help.   Assistance in locating programs and services is available by phone 24/7 and online at www.211sepa.org.   

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