United Way of Greater New Haven efforts focus on increasing the number of financially stable working families and individuals. In particular, we support services to help un- and under-employed people find and maintain jobs, particularly those who have barriers to employment like homelessness or criminal history.
There is great urgency to improve the financial stability of families and individuals in our region right now; the statistics are daunting. As of August 2012, the unemployment rate in New Haven was 13.3% with almost one-third of New Haven residents living in poverty. In addition, Connecticut’s median housing costs are the 6th highest in the nation, with more than one-third of New Haven households incurring housing costs greater than 30% of income (the percentage considered the standard for "affordability"). It's a combination that puts families throughout the region at risk of homelessness.
Highlights of Our Work
Workforce Development. United Way invests in skills development, transitional employment, and job placement programs that connect individuals to work. Learn more. . .
SAM: Our Smart About Money program, known as SAM, helps people achieve their financial goals through one-on-one sessions with trained volunteer budget coaches. Together they work to change behaviors and help households attain long-term economic success. Read more about SAM.
Housing: United Way works with partners to tackle critical housing-related issues, with a particular focus on preventing and ending homelessness. Read more about our housing work.
Almost 70 percent of participants in SAM budget coaching decreased their debt and more than 50 percent increased their savings.
In the first two quarters of 2012, our workforce development partners worked with 77 individuals who have multiple barriers to employment to increase their income and get them into long-term employment. Nearly 60 percent have gained access to additional income or work supports, 100 percent of those served have obtained jobs or increased their income, and 60 percent are now earning $10 an hour or more.
Through VITA, almost 3,500 low-income working individuals received free assistance to complete their tax returns and secured more than $5.8 million in federal funds. These dollars helped working families provide food and clothing for their children, and in turn benefited the local community.