Manatee Community Initiatives

Community Impact Initiatives are those projects supported by United Way of Manatee County and multiple collaborative funding sources. The collaborative partners include United Way Sarasota, United Way of South Sarasota County, Desoto County Government, Manatee County Government, Sarasota County Government, City of Arcadia, local agencies and foundations.

United Way 2-1-1 of Manasota, Inc.

United Way 2-1-1 of Manasota, Inc. is a collaborative Community Impact Initiative of the United Ways of Manatee, Sarasota, and South Sarasota Counties, and Manatee, Sarasota and Desoto County Governments to provide 2-1-1 service to the residents of the three county areas through a Regional Call Center. The three United Ways and the three County Governments are the current funders of the initiative.

If you need help, or would like to give help, call 2-1-1. United Way 2-1-1 of Manasota provides a centralized number to any resident in our community seeking personal information or regarding human services. It’s free, simple and confidential.

The Regional Call Center is operational and is located in the United Way of Sarasota (Suncoast) facilities. The Regional Center replaced the First Call For Help agencies that had provided information and referral services for health and human services from separate locations in the two counties. 2-1-1 service is available on a 24/7 basis. For additional information visit

Building Strong Families Manatee

Building Strong Families Manatee works with families with school age children who are at risk of becoming homeless in Manatee County. The program works with families in two ways. The first is by providing a long-term plan to maintain financial and emotional stability of the family. The second is by providing immediate resources to stabilize the family’s current housing problem in order for the family to remain in the home and the children in their school. This circumvents disruption in the children’s education and prevents truancy, school drop-outs, academic underachievement, and behavioral problems.


Reading Pals is a statewide initiative of United Way that aims to close the skills gap in the early grades. The program pairs kindergarten students with volunteer Reading Pals. Over the course of the school year the volunteers read to the student.  The student’s reading progress is measured and tracked. The goal of the program is to increase the reading proficiency of the student participants.

Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness

The Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness’ grant funding will enable the Partnership to further enhance the effort to reduce and prevent homelessness in our community, which is the goal of the “10-Year Plan to End Homelessness.” The Suncoast Partnership receives grant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which helped to increase the housing inventory in Manatee County for victims of domestic violence and to provide emergency funding to help residents who are facing eviction. The Partnership continues to enhance the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to help agencies become more effective and efficient. For more information visit