Recent News

June 09, 2014

United Way announces partners in new social innovation venture

CINCINNATI – There are programs that help men and women acquire the skills necessary to attain a job with a livable wage. There are programs that give children the skills they need to make it from kindergarten to graduation and beyond. United Way of Greater Cincinnati and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) will be working with a group of organizations to design programs that unite these two tracks to better meet families’ needs.

Brighton Center; Children, Inc.; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Housing Authority of Covington and the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission; Santa Maria Community Services; Starfire, Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families; and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati have been selected to partner with United Way and GCF on "Studio C," a seven-month design thinking process that will identify opportunities for and expand on potential solutions that support two-generational strategies.

"We’re looking forward to working with our partners in exploring and designing innovative, long-term community solutions that will help break the cycle of generational poverty. Moving children and their parents toward educational success and financial security is something we already do, but we will work with our partners to ensure these programs are interconnected and effective," says Ross Meyer, UWGC’s vice president of community impact.

Studio C will help these partners develop innovative ideas, policies, practices and collaborations that focus on two-generation solutions, a strategy that simultaneously lifts children and parents out of the cycle of poverty. Early indicators show this aligned strategy is more effective.

As part of the partnership, United Way and GCF are investing $5,000 into each partnership to support testing of those solutions. Technical support will be provided by Design Impact, a Cincinnati based public interest design firm.

"We're thrilled to be involved with such a progressive approach. Many of our best leaders in business utilize design to amazing results, so applying the design process and the underlying values to social issues makes a lot of sense. And kudos to United Way in leading our city forward creatively and collaboratively," says Tim Vogt, Starfire executive director.

"We are very excited to have the opportunity to work closely with other social service agencies in our region and to explore new and improved service delivery models in support of families affected by generational poverty," says Chris Radburn, Resident Service Department director at Housing Authority of Covington.

More than 24 submissions were made by United Way partners, community organizations, collaboratives and local businesses. Submissions will be evaluated by representatives from United Way, GCF, and Design Impact.

United Way and GCF will release a report summarizing the projects, the processes and key learnings at the end of the year.