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.

Lisa Guillette is the executive director of Foster Forward.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Zoning laws hindering housing construction

The Boston Globe

"Cortney Nicolato, the CEO of United Way of Rhode Island and another member of the special legislative commission, said most of the state’s land use enabling legislation was written in 1991... 'When you have 100 amendments in a 30-year legislation, it's clearly not working... The housing crisis cannot be truly transformed until we tackle systemic barriers, like zoning laws and land use.'"

READ ON SITE

McKee is proposing $250M for housing

McKee Proposes $250 Million for Housing

GoLocalProv

"Our state's housing crisis is significant and must be a priority in the budget. But just as important, the investment needs to combine with transformational change in the systems surrounding housing as a whole," said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island.

READ ON SITE

Thumbnail with side-by-side images of WPRI's Kim Kalunian (left) and United Way of Rhode Island's Kyle Bennett (right) with the headline, "COMMUNITY FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH THE UNITED WAY."

Community Focus: United Way/Kyle Bennett

WPRI 12

"Director of Policy and Equity for United Way of Rhode Island Kyle Bennett joined 12 News at 4 to discuss the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, how many families benefited from it, and what residents can do to help."

VIEW ON SITE

Voting Begins for Nonprofit Innovation Lab

“Following months of honing their innovative ideas to create positive social impact in our state, leaders of six nonprofits will make their pitch to Rhode Islanders via brief videos in hopes of winning the Public Choice Award of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. The voting opens Jan. 19 and ends on Jan. 24, with the winning organization receiving $5,000 in funding.”

Leaders Selected for ED Learning Circle

“Leaders of 11 local nonprofits have been selected by United Way of Rhode Island as fellows for its next Executive Director Learning Circle series. The year-long program takes an innovative approach to building the capacity of, and strengthening, the state’s nonprofit sector.”

211: On the Line

“It’s been very, very difficult at times,” shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for United Way 211 in Rhode Island. “But I couldn’t be more proud of our work and the ways we’ve been there to help our fellow Rhode Islanders throughout this crisis.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

National 211 Day Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our National 211 Day Celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Together, we're celebrating our 211 team who is always there, our donors who make it possible to answer each call, and our community partners who help callers get the services they need. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

Equity Challenge 2022

Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that. After registering, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks with resources, reflection questions, and actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.

REGISTER