- United for Equity in Jackson County United for Equity in Jackson County
by Ken Toll
For a while now, you’ve read my blogs or heard me speak about poverty. You’ve heard the statistic: 4 in 10 households are financially unstable, with a full 15 percent of Jackson County residents living below the poverty line.
That poverty line is far too low to start with. For a single person, it is $15,060. For a family of four, it is just $30,750. Think about it: 15 out of every 100 Jackson County residents are scraping by on this meager income.
That’s a hard fact for our community to face. It’s even harder ... Read more
- An Opportunity For Anyone To Regain or Maintain Their Financial Stability WE LIVE UNITED by providing the opportunity for anyone in need to maintain or regain their stability. Central Michigan 2-1-1 is a collaboration between United Way of Jackson County and LifeWays. It is the single most powerful tool we have to connect those in need with available health and human services. Last year, Central Michigan 2-1-1 received over 10,000 calls from Jackson County, connecting those in need to vital services. Janelle is just one of the thousands who have felt the impact of your United Way support.
Janelle called Central Michigan 2-1-1 because she was experiencing domestic violence and needed help ... Read more
- Every Child and Family Deserves An Opportunity To Succeed UNITED WE FIGHT for the financial stability of every person in our community. Some students have unique obstacles they need to overcome in order to maintain regular school attendance. When children attend school regularly, they have a better chance of graduating high school and being prepared for college or a career. With your support, United Way of Jackson County is able to resource the Education Advocacy and Support program with the Student Advocacy Center. Through our partnership, we are identifying why young students have been removed from their school, addressing the root causes, and working with the school, family and ... Read more
- Helping Families Keep Their Homes UNITED WE FIGHT FOR individuals and families of Jackson County who are vulnerable to homelessness. Because of your support, United Way of Jackson County is able to resource a partnership between Legal Services of South Central Michigan, Jackson District Court, and several other non-profit agencies that make up the Jackson County Mediation / Eviction Diversion Program. This collaboration is united against poverty and fights to keep people in their homes. Here is one example of how your support is making a difference in our community.
Bob and Karen were facing eviction and the real threat of homelessness. They met with an ... Read more
- Saved From Neglect, United As a Family WE LIVE UNITED by helping low-income individuals regain and maintain their financial stability. Many older adults in our community live without access to proper medical care or the most basic of needs. Because of your support, United Way of Jackson County is able to partner with the John George Home to ensure vulnerable senior citizen men have supportive housing including activities, financial planning, and medical care. Matthew’s story is just one example of the impact of your support.
He came to the John George Home underweight and in poor health. Matthew is an older gentleman with mental needs that prevent him ... Read more
- A Legacy of Impact That Endures A Legacy of Impact That Endures
by Ken Toll
I’ve been wearing United Way on my sleeve with an extra dose of pride lately.
To be clear, I’m never less than proud of the local impact we make, the partners we collaborate with, and the staff I’m privileged to work alongside every day. But United Way has been getting extra props lately, and that’s worth feeling good about.
For starters, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has named United Way Worldwide to the top spot of America’s Favorite Charities. These are 100 cause-driven nonprofit organizations that Americans are most willing to support financially because of trust ... Read more
- Creating Stability and Self-Sufficiency in Jackson County UNITED WE WIN by empowering low and moderate income households to develop their pathway to self-sufficiency. United Way of Jackson County fights for the financial stability for every person in our community by bringing together every dollar, every partner, and every resource we can to improve lives in our community. Our partnership with the Community Action Agency is one example of our collaborative efforts that is impacting our community in a real and positive way. United Way of Jackson County is proud to support CAA’s Financial Empowerment Program which helps participants develop a better understanding of their financial situation. They ... Read more
- JobSTAR: Shining a Light on a Brighter Future for Workers, Businesses
Guest blog by Scott Walker
Success Coach, JobSTAR
Missing work isn’t always about a touch of the flu. In fact, family obligations—caring for a child or sick relative, for example—are among the barriers that can keep people from working. So is lack of reliable transportation, or an unexpected medical crisis. No wonder 48 percent of employees surveyed in the Bright Horizons Modern Family Index said they fear their family obligations could get them fired.
At a time when many social safety nets come with a work requirement, people who work yet struggle financially—a population we call ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed)—are under ... Read more
- Creating Pathways Toward Stability Through Mentoring UNITED WE WIN by helping at-risk students improve their reading skills and prepare for their future. Students who come from households that are at or near poverty, more often than not are also struggling in school. Through your support, United Way has partnered with Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Jackson County to help students and their parents develop a pathway toward success. Site-Based Mentors are encouraged to work with their littles on literacy, financial stability, and creating future-focused goals. BBBS also uses United Way’s Self-Sufficiency tool with the little’s parents and are revisiting these documents on an annual basis. This ... Read more
- When Poverty is Real by Ken Toll
When is poverty real?
Maybe when you see that man on the street corner with a sign. Or maybe when you read a blog on our website. Or maybe when a financial crisis happens to someone you care about.
Maybe, just maybe, it becomes real when it shows up in a national newspaper.
A few weeks ago, USA Today ran an article on the 50 U.S. communities most affected by extreme poverty. These are cities where poverty is so concentrated that it impacts the community as a whole—fewer job opportunities, struggling schools, higher incidence of crime, challenges with infrastructure and health access.
The most ... Read more