For many families, making ends meet is a challenge that requires sacrifices.

We know that:

  • Income stability is crucial in developing an environment conducive to learning.
  • 44% of Suncoast households are struggling financially.  We call this population ALICE (Asset-limited, Income Constrained, Employed)

When earned wages don’t support the basic needs of a family and when debt and lack of money management skills rob individuals of their dreams, a cycle of generational poverty can have implications for present and future generations.

United Way Suncoast, with partnership across the community, is committed to breaking this cycle by leading and participating in programs focused on helpings families and individuals increase income and build financial assets.

United Way invests in unique programs designed to help eliminate barriers and assist individuals in their efforts to obtain and retain employment. In addition, United Way actively facilitated a wide range of beneficial partnerships to advance programs designed to help low-income families and individuals achieve financial independence. Among these programs are the following highlights:

  • As part of the Prosperity Campaigns of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties plus the VITA Programs in Manatee, Sarasota and DeSoto Counties, United Way supports free tax preparation assistance and education regarding Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) at numerous locations throughout the five county region.
  • United Way leads the Individual Development Account (IDA) program, a collaboration of more than 35 community partners dedicated to helping hard-working families and individuals save to accomplish a personal dream of home ownership, continuing education or starting a small business.
  • Working in partnership with regional agencies, United Way provides individualized guidance to people seeking to repair credit, repair banking relationships and manage their money more effectively.
  • Job training initiatives – Any training efforts that provide individuals with the skills, knowledge and/or credentials that qualify them for a higher paying, stable job.  Please note that while job training has an educational component, it is classified as income because its focus is purely to qualify a person for a better paying or more stable job.  This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. GED training – wraparound support services
    2. Technical training
    3. Certification training and licensure
    4. Job preparation – resume assistance, interview preparation, dress, soft skills, etc.
  • Financial initiatives – Initiatives that help our priority population learn how to keep more of their income. This includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Credit building and repair
    2. VITA (free income tax preparation)
    3. Financial literacy planning and management
    4. Budgeting
    5. Savings
    6. Support for the unbanked/underbanked