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Local Love Stories



Poverty. Homelessness. Mental health. Social Isolation. These are #UNIGNORABLE issues facing our community. But we can tackle them together by showing our local love in the places we live.

Here are some examples of local love in action, right here in Olmsted County!




Bailey was born into a chaotic world with an unstable family environment. She has struggled with mental health concerns since a young age and this affected her education. With help and encouragment from her grandmother, Bailey accepted an opportunity to enroll at the Alternative Learning Center (ALC). She was able to get the extra support and resources she needed to explore, learn, thrive, and engage with the community in ways that would have been out of reach. 

With United Way’s support of quality education programs like the Rochester Full-Service Community Schools, Bailey was able to graduate on time and is looking forward to becoming a vet-tech through RCTC.
Bailey’s life changed for the better with help from donors like Barbara, who took action in her community. Bailey went through some tough times and got the support she needed. Now she is planning her future.




Vanessa has lived around addiction her  whole life and eventually struggled with it herself. Searching for answers and support she was referred to Recovery Is Happening which provided recovery services, counseling, and a sober living environment. Through United Way’s support of health and addiction programs like Recovery Is Happening, Vanessa is now able to work her full-time job while knowing that she is learning and growing into a healthier version of herself.
Vanessa’s life changed for the better by donors like Elaine & Bill, who took action in their community. Vanessa went through some tough times and got the support she needed. Now she is inspiring others to do the same.  



Sara is a single mother of 3 who had been chronically homeless for the past seven years when she moved to Rochester to find a safer place for her family. Struggling to find stability and secure housing, she was connected to the Salvation Army and their program Access Home. They were able to help her obtain transitional housing, as well as guiding her through financial literacy courses. 
Sara has overcome many barriers and with support made possible by United Way and donors like Tyler, she is more eager than ever to plan for the future and is well on her way to homeownership.