Helping individuals and families be financially stable.
United Way strives to move people toward financial independence. People living in financially unstable homes frequently encounter other foundational quality-of-life needs, such as good health and quality education. Without a stable and family-sustaining income, people can find themselves falling behind rather than moving forward in creating a good quality life for themselves and their families. Together, we're providing job training, financial literacy courses, job coaching, tax filing assistance, and more to help people in our community become more financially stable.
Did you know...
- Between 200-300 families are dealing with homelessness in Olmsted County. Housing instability is directly linked to poor health outcomes, educational outcomes and employment outcomes.
- People who understand money management and the importance of banking, budgeting and savings are better equipped for a successful financial future.
- A child is neglected or abused every 47 seconds. Nearly 70% of child abuse victims are under the age of 5.
- Food insecurity is harmful to all people, but it is particularly devastating to children. Proper nutrition is critical to a child's development. In Olmsted County, 8.9% of the total population is food insecure, and nearly 5,000 of these individuals are children.
The programs United Way is partnering with help:
- Families sustain employment
- Access to adequate food
- Increase access to affordable housing
- Providing shelter and prevent homelessness
- Improve financial literacy knowledge and skills
- Immediate sagety needs
- Equal access to services for vulnerable people
Our Financial Stability Programs
Three Rivers Community Action is committed to increasing assets for underserved populations, including low income households and households headed by ethnic minorities or persons of color, by assisting them in defining and meeting their personal financial goals. Through the Achieve Homeownership program, Three Rivers offers an array of culturally-tailored education and financial counseling services that meet a client where they are at and help them progress toward homeownership. Three Rivers provides financial literacy classes, individual financial coaching, budgeting and credit counseling, pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education classes, individual development accounts, down payment assistance and post-purchase services. Services are provided in multiple languages.
Partner: Three Rivers Community Action
The goal of Crisis Nursery is to prevent child abuse, to keep children safe, and to strengthen and support families. One of the ways Crisis Nursery does this is by providing temporary, short-term care for children in Olmsted County while families address a crisis situation. Additional services include: crisis counseling and support, parent education, in-home family counseling, referral to community resources, and a monthly parent education group called PARRK (Parents and Relatives Raising Kids) – all at no cost.
Partner: Families First of Minnesota
The Family Access Center (FAC) provides supervised parenting time and supervised child exchanges between residential and non-residential parents for children within families deemed at risk of experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, or neglect. The Family Access Center is one component of a comprehensive community response to ensure children live free of violence. Many children within our community are separated from their parent or parents as a result of concerns of child abuse, neglect, domestic violence, custody issues, parental conflict, or other unsafe, threatening behavior within the home. FAC is strongly committed to children’s needs and rights to maintain or develop relationships with both parents while ensuring child safety. The services at FAC are designed for children and their families who are deemed at risk and require supervised parenting times (a.k.a. supervised visitation) and safe child exchanges between parents. FAC’s core philosophy is to create a safe, secure, and neutral environment that supports opportunities for children to experience positive interactions with their parent(s) that helps lead to healthy child development.
Partner: Family Service Rochester
The Family Stabilization Program provides ongoing case management, life skills development, and vocational planning for advancement to families for up to 24 months after they leave the Family Promise Rochester shelter program. The Family Stabilizer Program begin with an assessment of self-sufficiency as measured across 18 life domains that have been proven to impact a family’s ability to become and remain self sufficient. In consultation with the FSP staff, each family develops a roadmap to self-sufficiency and receives support and case coordination to progress along that path. Each family takes part in a life skills development series, 26 group sessions that cover parenting, financial literacy, landlord tenant rights/responsibilities, and vocational planning for advancement. During 1:1 sessions with staff, families tackle advancement in the 18 life domains with emphasis on vocational advancement (moving towards family sustaining employment) and financial decision-making.
Partner: Family Promise Rochester
The financial literacy program consists of workshops that are intended to engage participants on various budgeting and money management topics so that they gain financial stability through improved financial literacy. Some of the topics are: the difference between needs and wants, establishing savings, setting long-term financial goals, asset building, and various budgeting techniques. The program helps participants avoid financial planning mistakes and learn how to use money to both empower their lives and attain long-term life goals. The end objective for all participants is to build assets and gain financial independence.
Partner: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona
Channel One helps by distributing food to people in need. In Olmsted County, this organization accomplishes this through Channel One’s Food Shelf and partnerships with eight satellite food shelves. Residents of Olmsted County seeking assistance at Channel One are given a five-day supply of food at no cost. Once set up with services, families are able to return for food assistance on a monthly basis until becoming self-sufficient. Larger families are given larger quantities of food, and when available, will be provided baby products (diapers, formula, and baby food) to those with infants.
Partners: Channel One Regional Food Bank and Food Shelf
Legal Assistance of Olmsted County (LAOC) meets the legal needs of low-income people in Olmsted County through a combination of direct legal representation by staff attorneys and volunteers, a variety of clinics that offer brief advice and assistance with pro se court forms, and the landlord-tenant hotline. LAOC leverages this combination of services in order to serve as many low-income people as efficiently as possible in order to achieve stability for families, accountability that leads to better housing, relief for victims of domestic violence, and alleviation of overburdened courts.
Partner: Legal Assistance of Olmsted County
Staff trained in trauma-informed care and evidence-based practices deliver assessment, harm reduction, crisis stabilization, continuum service linkages, and case management. The program provides youth who are experiencing or at-risk of experiencing homelessness access to emergency shelter or safe and stable housing as well as access to resources meeting the youth’s immediate needs (food, clothing, health). Program services also include a community-wide outreach implementation strategy aimed to strengthen and sustain a comprehensive network of support for youth. The overall program goal is to develop a trusting relationship with youth and connect them with resources within their community.
Partner: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota
Meals on Wheels provides hot, nutritious noon meals daily to individuals who are elderly, convalescing, or have disabilities and cannot easily access or prepare dietetically correct meals. Meals are prepared under the direction of a licensed dietician and are designed to accommodate many medical requirements such as low sodium, low cholesterol, diabetic, pureed, renal, gluten-free, vitamin K limited, etc. These meals are home-delivered by over 350 volunteers representing individuals, organizations, businesses, service clubs, and church groups.
Partner: Family Service Rochester
The Noon Meal program serves lunch each weekday throughout the year. Meals are prepared by a certified cook, assisted by volunteers. This program is open to anyone in need of a meal. A diverse group of people who attend for a variety of reasons, are served each day. This is also a place where people come to socialize and add structure in their day. Outreach workers are available to provide connections to mainstream resources. The program offers a safe place to deliver basic needs to residents and visitors in our community.
Partner: The Salvation Army
The goal of Pathways to College and Careers program is to successfully transition diverse and academically under-prepared adults from Hawthorne to RCTC to employment in the healthcare and skilled trades fields. RCTC and Hawthorne collaborate to provide relevant and effective academic courses leading to certifications/diplomas/degrees in six healthcare fields (Certified Nursing Assistant, Advanced Hospital CNA, Health Unit Coordinator, Administrative Clinical Assistant, Trained Medication Aide, and Phlebotomy), and three manufacturing fields (welding, Precision Manufacturing Tech, and Computer-aided Design). Articulation agreements between Hawthorne and RCTC participants eliminate need for developmental education classes. In addition to academic supports both at Hawthorne and RCTC, the Pathways project provides navigators who help participants remove their barriers to completion and employment by providing holistic advising, career planning, job search, and budgeting assistance.
Partner: Hawthorne, Rochester Public School District
The work of the refugee resettlement program supports families for 90 days, beginning with their arrival in Rochester. Before their arrival, this program secures and furnishes safe and stable housing for refugees. The program connects families with the building blocks they need to eventually achieve self-sufficiency and financial stability: including proper documents, access to health care, education for children and adults, employment, food security, and financial literacy. Working with over 25 area community service providers, the program begins equipping families with the knowledge and skills needed to become vital and contributing members of the community.
Partner: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Winona
The homeless prevention program is a part of The Salvation Army’s spectrum of housing assistance. This program assists those who are currently housed but find themselves in a temporary crisis that is jeopardizing their housing stability. Prevention funds, in amounts up to one month’s rent, work with both families and individuals. The goal is to prevent them from losing their current housing, which could lead to an episode of homelessness. If the current housing is normally affordable to them, assisting with the short-term crisis is the most cost effective and non-disruptive solution. Partner: The Salvation Army
By 2020, the number of Minnesotans 65+ will eclipse the number of 5-17 year olds for the first time in history. This phenomenon isn’t unique to MN, and this collaborative continues to build on the foundation of a model based heavily on volunteer delivered services professionally managed and augmented by staff. The program embraces the “no wrong door” philosophy of consumer service for senior, caregiver, and volunteer alike. The partners collaborate as a trio and partner with dozens of additional organizations across the region in the name of senior independence.
Partner: Elder Network, Family Service Rochester, and The Salvation Army
Ability Building Center and PossAbilities of Southern Minnesota operate supported employment programs utilizing the person-centered approach to employment. This process assesses likes, dislikes, and abilities to tailor the employment search to match the individual’s employment goal. Once hired, a job coach assists the individual and develops natural supports within the business. Job coaches train the individual and other employees working with the individual, and slowly fade out to foster independence but remain available as needed. The individual’s satisfaction is increased, leading to a higher level of job retention to the benefit of the employer.
Partners: Ability Building Center and PossAbilities of Southern Minnesota
The Salvation Army’s Transitional Living & Rapid Rehousing program is designed to take homeless or imminently homeless families with multiple housing barriers and support them in their efforts toward stabilized housing and finances. Families are assisted with finding housing in the community. A rent subsidy is provided along with case management to establish and accomplish family goals. At the end of the program, families will be able to stay in the same housing, pay their entire rent on their own, and continuing to build on the stability established while in the program.
Partner: The Salvation Army