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October 09, 2014

Pathways to Stability & Self-Sufficiency

Our Income Bold Goal states that by 2020, 90% of the labor force will be gainfully employed. To help achieve this goal, individuals need a coordinated path to financial independence.

Income is the #1 root cause indicator affecting education and good health. 

However, across our region, more than 641,000 people cannot make ends meet, an increase of nearly 180,000 people since 1980.

So, what does it take to move individuals and families from poverty to self-sufficiency? United Way and partners are working to create pathways to stability.

pathways include:

  • Access to opportunities that help meet basic needs

  • Removing barriers to secure employment

  • Maintaining employment through work readiness and occupational skills

  • Building assets and career advancement

At United Way’s September Impact Spotlight, we discussed some of the solutions and heard real-life examples from three panelists.

the Recipe for Financial Stability

Cheriese Lindsey was determined to learn new skills that would lead her to a career. “After experiencing dead end jobs, I wanted to be stable. I wanted to do something different,” Cheriese shared. She saw a flyer for an Urban League program, which is a United Way agency partner, and quit her dead-end job to take a leap of faith to focus on bettering herself. She completed the Solid Opportunities for Advancement and Retention (SOAR) and Construction programs. Now, she has a promising career with opportunities for advancement.

Talia Frye, Family Center Director, Brighton Center in Northern Kentucky (a United Way agency partner), stated families and individuals don’t have isolated needs. “It’s hard for people to take that step when they don’t have good experiences in their past.” That’s why the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) provides bundled services that Talia called a recipe for financial stability – financial services, workforce development, and family and work supports are all integrated to help customers articulate and achieve their goals and vision for their financial future. 

Centers are also located at Cincinnati Works in downtown Cincinnati, Santa Maria Community Services in Price Hill, and the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati in Avondale.

Talia Frye (l) and David Lewis (r) share their expertise and experience about creating pathways out of poverty for our community.

David Lewis, Vice President of Business Technology, School Outfitters, rounded out the panel with the employer perspective (working with Partners for a Competitive Workforce, a United Way managed initiative). He shared how important it is to get students excited about in-demand careers like IT, even in elementary grades.  “We need a pipeline of students in technology and we need to keep local talent here to stay.”

Sign up for our Advocacy Network and be alerted about issues concerning moving individuals and families from poverty to stability. Your voice can help create pathways to stability for more people in our region.

More about United Way Impact Spotlight: This series provides compelling information about how your investment is driving change in the community. Tocqueville, Cincinnatus and Roebling members are invited to this lunch-time event to learn more and discover ways to get more involved.

If you would like to learn more, contact Alana Nodell at 513-762-7194.