Building economic security

Building economic security

Lift United

WHAT WE'RE UP AGAINST

Families struggling to make ends meet are often one flat tire or unexpected medical bill away from not being able to pay their rent that month.

CHILDHOOD POVERTY

38%

is the percent of Latinx children who live in poverty in Rhode Island

HOME OWNERSHIP

<50%

is the portion of Black and Latinx Rhode Islanders who own their homes compared to whites

LIVING IN POVERTY

150,000

is the number of Rhode Islanders who live in poverty, with many more considered cost-burdened

WHAT WE'RE DOING TO BUILD ECONOMIC SECURITY

Supporting adult education, job training, and businesses owned by women and minorities

We are advocating and investing to:

  • Expand access to adult educations and job training programs, especially for multi-language learners.
  • Ensure these programs train our neighbors for the livable wage jobs of tomorrow, as well as of today.
  • Support the growth and stability of businesses owned by women and minorities in Rhode Island, which in turn will drive economic growth in our state.
PBN image of Genesis Center job training for strength in numbers article
Working to avoid evictions.

Securing affordable housing for all

We are investing in and advocating for systems and programs that re-imagine housing so that it is safe and affordable for all who live in our state.

Investing in care coordination for 211 callers

When Rhode Islanders call 211, they are in crisis or one step away from a crisis. While continuing to connect the roughly 200,000 callers each year with the resources they need right away, we are developing a social service care coordination system so that 211 callers will have more comprehensive support and more streamlined access to the resources they need. Improved efficiencies in the social service sector with improved speed of access to services will improve health and wellbeing of Rhode Islanders. We’re starting this year by transforming our 211 technology.

Working towards our Lift United 2025 Goals

LIVE United 2025: Lift United

Building Economic Security

Through our Lift United pillar, we’re investing in affordable housing, improving care coordination, and expanding access to adult education and job training. We’re also supporting the growth and stability of women- and minority-owned businesses.

Person wearing a white hardhat inside while holding a coffee
Goal: Employment

Reduce the number of Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) who are underemployed or unemployed by 25%.

Source: Dept. of Labor and Training (2019)
Frequency: TBA

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Housing is a fundamental human right and, today, too many Rhode Islanders are on the brink of homelessness

Goal: Affordable Housing

Reduce the number of Rhode Islanders who are housing cost burdened by 25%.

Key: Housing Cost Burdened
Blue = No, Orange = Yes

Owners

Renters

Source: HousingWorks RI Annual FactBook (2020)
Frequency: Annual (Year 1 data is TBA: example only)

HOW YOU CAN HELP BUILD ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR ALL

Join us. That's what it means to "Live United." We can't do this alone.

Vote

Vote yes on 3 for the housing bond special election in February 2020.

Pledge

Sign our equity pledge to join us in eliminating policies that disadvantage Rhode Islanders of color.

Give

Donate today or through your employer’s annual giving campaign to support our efforts.

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Rethinking how one of R.I.’s largest nonprofits can grow

The Boston Globe

In October, [Idrees "Lanre"] Ajakaiye was appointed the new chief development officer at... United Way of Rhode Island where he'll be in charge of helping... United Way achieve its current strategic plan, which outlines the nonprofit's investment of $100 million over five years to help achieve racial equity.

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THE PROVIDENCE CITY COUNCIL gave the second and final approval on Wednesday to a $10 million spending plan for racial reparations. / PBN FILE PHOTO/CHRIS BERGENHEIM

City Council gives final approval to $10M reparations budget

Providence Business News

A two-yearslong effort to bring racial reparations to Providence achieved a milestone Wednesday... The approved funding largely mirrors recommendations set forth by a city panel based on community input, but with one major change that shifts some money into a COVID-19 Equity Fund to be managed by United Way of Rhode Island.

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How you can save money amidst Rhode Island Energy rate hike

ABC6

With rates rising starting Oct. 1, Rhode Islanders have many ways to save money and energy this fall... [For] anyone... need[ing]... financial assistance... United Way of Rhode Island’s 211 service may help... 'We’re here to help the community navigate resources,' said Courtney Smith, director of... 211... The service is available online at 211 United Way of Rhode Island or over the phone.

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New Survey of R.I. Nonprofits Highlights Dire Need

As Rhode Islanders… prepare to participate in Giving Tuesday, the results of a new survey paint a stark picture of the challenges facing the state’s nonprofit sector. Local community-based organizations continue to provide services for communities still facing pandemic-level needs, while facing inflation-driven costs and inadequate staffing caused by the physical and emotional toll of the last two years.

United Way of Rhode Island Appoints Four to Its Board of Directors

Four community leaders have been appointed to the United Way of Rhode Island Board of Directors… Elected for three-year terms are David Bonenberger, president, Rhode Island Energy/PPL Corporation; Anthony Botelho, senior vice president, team leader, Washington Trust; Courtney Hawkins, health and human services industry executive, Salesforce; and Yahaira “Jay” Placencia, senior vice president, private client advisor, Bank of America.

I. Lanre Ajakaiye Joins United Way of R.I. as Chief Development Officer

Following a broad, competitive search for its chief development officer, United Way of Rhode Island has hired a community leader known to be an innovative changemaker. The organization has chosen Idrees “Lanre” Ajakaiye, who brings a deep, diverse range of experience to United Way’s work to transform the future by building racial equity and creating opportunities for all Rhode Islanders.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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