How We Help
- BOLD Goal 1: Reduce Hunger and Homelessness
- BOLD Goal 2: Prepare Children to Succeed
- BOLD Goal 3: Help People be Independent
- BOLD Goal 4: Lift People Out of Poverty
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News & Events
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- Form - Final
- A Letter to United Way Supporters
- LIVE UNITED: BE THE ONE 2013 Campaign Kick-Off
- 2013 Women's Leadership Luncheon
- 2014 Day of Caring Volunteer Event & Thank You
- 2013 LIVE UNITED T-Shirt Day
- Welcome to Our New Website!
- Watch Roger Staubach's first United Way commercial and others from the last 40 years here
- USA WEEKEND Magazine sponsors Make A Difference Day
- See who sported their t's for 2013 LIVE UNITED Tshirt Day
- Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday. LIVE UNITED Today!
- U.S. Bank Employees get "pie-d" for United Way to celebrate their outstanding campaign
- Announcing...Our 2014 United Way 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program Participants
- United Way's new approach is intended to give donors a better picture of their return on investment
- It's not about CHARITY. It's about CHANGE.
- United Way teams up with Target to Share-A-Tree with families in need
- Blog Rss Feed
- 1 more step toward quality child care: North Dakota launches Bright & Early North Dakota statewide
- 2013 Campaign Announcement Media Event & Thank you Reception
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2013 Fredrick W. Donath Campaign Award
- We have achieved and exceeded our 2013 Campaign Goal of $5.2 million!
- It's tax time! What you need to know about preparing your tax return with your gift to United Way
- Congratulations to our 2013 BE THE ONE Award Winners!
- 2014 Annual Meeting and Celebration of ONE
- Did you miss the 2014 Annual Meeting and Celebration of ONE?
- The Power of Community Involvement
- United Way Celebrates National Volunteer Week
- Individualism or the Common Good? We need both.
- May 10 is the National Letter Carriers' Food Drive and YOU can help!
- Education That Works: Educational Leaders, the Economic Development Corporation, and United Way
- United Way Celebrates May Day by Celebrating Education
- Launching "Education that Works" for students, teachers and our future workforce
- United Way announces 2015-2016 investments in Community Partners providing Basic Needs
- $ 5 lunch on Thursday at all Hornbacher's locations! Gobble It Up for United Way
- A letter from our 2014 Board Chair, Mark Jensen-Thanks from the United Way
- 16th Annual School Supply Drive kicks off today-donation and volunteer info!
- REGISTER TO VOLUNTEER FOR SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE HERE
- You are invited to the 2014 United Way Kick Off Event on September 9 featuring Hugh Weber
- The 2014 Campaign Materials are ready for you! Check 'em out!
- YOUNG PEOPLE, UNITE! The NEW Emerging Leaders in Giving Program has launched
- Applications for the 2015 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program are now available
- Volunteer registration is now open for the 2014 Day of Caring
- Join nearly 700 women to support United Way's work in EDUCATION on Nov 6-EVENT IS SOLD OUT
- UNITED for Jefferson Neighborhood
- 23rd Annual Day of Caring
- 35 Under 35 Alumni come together for Women’s Build for Habitat for Humanity
- Want to Stay Active and Improve Your Health as You Grow Older? Volunteer!
- Want to Stay Active and Improve Your Health as You Grow Older? Volunteer!
- Want to see what lasting change looks like?
- Monte’s Downtown launches DINE UNITED in partnership with United Way
- West Acres - BOOtiful Night: Trick or Treating
- Watch videos of the 2014 Kick Off Event
- United Way of Cass-Clay collaborates to lead first-ever regional workforce study
- 2014 LIVE UNITED T-Shirt Day
- US Bank Reveals Campaign Total
- Giving THANKS to our Volunteers!
- Essentia employee gets a VIP limo ride to work as part of United Way Campaign
- Proudly announcing the 2015 participants of the United Way 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program
- United Way of Cass-Clay has officially reached the $3.5 million mark on our way to the 2014 campaign
- United Way Partners with Target to spread holiday cheer
- Apply to volunteer for 2015 Community Investment Review Panel
- Join us for Coffee and 2014 Campaign Results on Feb 6
- 5 Reasons to Celebrate Volunteer Mentors
- Join us for the 2015 Annual Meeting and Volunteer Awards Featuring Keynote Speaker Wes Moore
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2014 Frederick W. Donath Campaign Award
- Mission Gratitude: Mission Accepted
- The 2014 Annual Report to the Community has been officially released!
- United Way welcomes new board members in 2015
- Volunteers Meet to Launch 2015 Campaign Cabinet
- May 1st Brings 4th Annual May Day Baskets of Books!
- Local Organizations Receive National Recognition from United Way
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- Regional Workforce Study Results Announced-United Way to Take Action to Address Workforce Challenges
- Millennials Move Mountains
- 2015 School Supply Drive - How to Donate & Receive Supplies
- 2015 School Supply Drive Equips 5,260 Students for the School Year
- YOUR IRA CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP IMPROVE LIVES IN OUR COMMUNITY.
- MISSION GRATITUDE: Congrats to our LIVE UNITED Award Nominees!
- Introducing the nominees of the NEW “LIVE UNITED Catalyst of the Year” Award
- United Way names Kristi Huber as President
- Now accepting nominations for the 2016 LIVE UNITED Leader of the Year Award
- United Way makes new investment to help West Fargo students access mental health services
- ALL VOLUNTEER SHIFTS FULL - 2017 School Supply Drive
- 2017 United Way Day of Caring Volunteer Event
- You won't want to miss our Kick Off Event on Sept 14
- Applications for 2018 United Way 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program available on September 1
- 17th Annual United Way Women United Luncheon & Silent Auction
- A Day in the Life: A Perspective on Poverty
- 8th Annual Roers/Keller Williams Chili Feed is Happening on Oct 3rd!
- Collaborative Investments Are Helping Rural Students Access Mental Health Services
- Generosity Is the Strength of Our Community
- LIVE UNITED T-Shirt Day & United Acts of Kindness on November 10th
- United Way Focuses on Investing to Help People Be Independent
- 800 Women UNITE to Help Give Kids the Very Best Start
- A Sign Is Worth A Thousand Words
- 2018 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Class Announced!
- Get Informed and then Advocate...Learn More About Poverty in Our Community
- Emerging Leaders Turn Inspiration Into Action
- Call All Volunteers: Join Our Community Investment Review Panel!
- News & Events
- Here's What You Need to Know About Claiming Your United Way Donation This tax season
- And The Nominees Are.....
- How You Can be an Advocate for Student Mental Health in Your Community!
- Check out the 2017 United Way Annual Report to the Community!
- JUST ANNOUNCED: 2018 United Way Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces
- Congratulations to the LIVE UNITED Award Winners!
- How VITA is helping hard working tax payers receive more on their tax returns
- Register for the 2018 35 Under 35 Celebration Ceremony on June 7
- Employee Campaign Coordinators - Join us for ECC Engage on May 10 or 21
- A Lesson In Leadership
- United Way's 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program Celebrates 10 Years
- Women UNITED Golf Scramble Registration to Open May 1 at 10am
- 7th Annual Women UNITED May Day Baskets of Books Event
- UNITED for Child Care Training Event Materials
- Gobble It Up Pre-Orders OPEN!
- Story Squad: Kid's Storytime with United Way
- 10th Annual Roers/Keller Williams Chili Feed for United Way
- Eggs & Issues: The State of Local Child Care & Its Impact on Workforce Development
- 20th Annual United Way School Supply Drive - ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW!
- Join us for the 2018 United Way Kick Off Event!
- 2019 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program Applications Now Available!
- 2018 Women UNITED Luncheon & Silent Auction
- 35 Women With One Thing In Common, A Desire to Make A Difference: United Way's 35 Under 35 Program
- Are You Up for the (Social Media) Challenge!?
- 2019 United Way Kick Off Event
- 2018 LIVE UNITED T-shirt & UNITED Acts of Kindness Day
- 2018 Campaign Video: I Wish My Teacher Knew
- A Song to Say Thank You
- Women UNITED Luncheon & Silent Auction Raffle WINNERS
- 2019 35 Under 35 Women’s Leadership Class Announced!
- UNITED for Student Mental Health - Mental Health Services Expanded to 6 Rural Schools in ND
- A Day in the Life: Perspective on Poverty
- 2019 Women UNITED Luncheon & Silent Auction
- Here’s What You Need to Know About Claiming Your United Way Donation This tax season
- Nominate YOUR Organization for LIVE UNITED Leader of the Year!
- Join us to Recognize Generosity in Our Community!
- And The Nominees Are...
- Day of Caring Volunteer Event
- United Way of Cass-Clay: James' Story
- Congratulations to the LIVE UNITED Awards Winners!
- JUST ANNOUNCED: 2019 United Way Top 50 Most Generous Workplaces
- 2019 United Way School Supply Drive
- Community Collaborations: United Way Receives Presidents' Award for Community Partner
- Inviting all ECC's to attend ECC Engage The Power of Community on May 7 & 8
- Women UNITE to Share a Love of Learning
- Help Encourage Kids to Succeed on Their First Day of School
- The Route to Removing Barriers for Employment - United Way Helps Expand Transportation Services
- Pre Order Info for Hornbacher's Gobble It Up for United Way $5 Lunch
- A Backpacks Impact: The United Way School Supply Drive
- Employee Campaign Coordinator (ECC) Training
- Will You Accept the Women UNITED Challenge?!
- 2019 LIVE UNITED Tshirt & UNITED Acts of Kindness Day
- Register now for the 2019 Kick Off Event on September 18
- Applications for the 2020 35 Under 35 Women's Leadership Program are now available
- Join us for the Perspective on Poverty Event on October 29
BOLD Goal 1: Reduce Hunger and Homelessness
We see an opportunity to reduce hunger and homelessness by improving systems and strengthening partnerships to allow individuals to access stable housing and food that ultimately leads to homelessness and hunger being rare, brief and one-time.
We place a strong focus on the housing first philosophy, a proven method of ending all types of homelessness, which offers individuals and families experiencing homelessness immediate access to permanent affordable or supportive housing with a low threshold for entry.*
Nationally, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food to live an active and healthy life.”* It can also be defined in this way: the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. From the most recent data available from Feeding America, in 2016, 9.1% of children under 18 year old in Cass County and 12.7% in Clay County are considered food insecure. However, only 8.9% of the total population in Cass County and 9.5% in Clay County are considered food insecure. ** This shows that children are disproportionally effected by hunger.
The Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federal program that helps millions of low-income Americans put food on the table. Across the US there are over 9.5 million families with children on SNAP. It is the largest program working to fight hunger and provide a path towards self-sufficiency in the United States.*** Locally, calculations (2017) place SNAP participation rates around 51% for Cass County, ND, and 71% for Clay County, MN.**** An emphasis on outreach to enroll eligible families can assist a family’s ability to move toward self-sufficiency; when paired with other economic assistance programs and supportive case management and nonprofit partners, families can be lifted out of poverty.
Currently, Great Plains Food Bank has 52 partners in Cass and Clay Counties, and 83% of food and grocery product distributed by partner food pantries was supplied by the Great Plains Food Bank. *****
From the 2018 Hunger in ND study and survey conducted by the Great Plains Food Bank, when families were asked what were the root causes of them being food insecure, their top responses were: *****
• Lack of affordable housing
• Lack of transportation
Locally, United Way is a member of the Cass/Clay Hunger Coalition. The Cass/Clay Hunger Coalition has set their vision as: We see a healthy community built on collaborative solutions that supports equitable access to food while addressing the root causes of hunger. Through utilizing the Results Based Accountability (RBA) model, Cass/Clay Hunger Coalition has set the following as areas of focus and strategies:
• Food insecurity – Everyone in Cass/Clay is and will continue to be food secure.
o Expanded screening for root causes of hunger
• Food access – Everyone has equitable access to food that meets their needs.
o Supporting non-traditional food access
• Health & hunger – Our community actively supports practices and policies that recognize hunger as a health crisis
o Analyzing current policies and practices
• Awareness & education – Everyone is knowledgeable about hunger as an issue in our community year-round
o Periodic coordinated outreach events
We need to look at our community’s system and work to build more effective collaboration to alleviate hunger that many face every day. Building a better system to address food insecurity starts with having access to relevant data, that provides insight into demographics of clients served and why they are seeking to access food pantries and/or charitable feeding programs.
Through our partnership with the Great Plains Food Bank and the work of the Cass/Clay Hunger Coalition, it is clear we need to focus on collaborative system-wide solutions. To end hunger in our community, we need to lift people out of poverty.
From the State of Homelessness Report, it is estimated on any given night there are 1,075 individuals experiencing homelessness in the Fargo-Moorhead Metro. Almost two-thirds (63%) of individuals experiencing homelessness who were surveyed had at least a high school diploma or some level of college education. Roughly a third (30%) of respondents were currently employed, and on average they reported working 24 hours per week.
The individuals who were not employed identified physical and mental health, transportation, child care, and criminal background as the common barriers to employment. Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) stated their typical mode of transportation was to walk, wheelchair, or bike.
Individuals experiencing homelessness in our community face many barriers to sustainability or the ability to be lead a stable life, specifically when it comes to gaining and maintaining livable-wage employment and safe, stable housing.
When asked about what would help them to maintain stable housing, survey respondents identified employment, affordable housing, and transportation as the top three.******
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, families experiencing homelessness are similar to other families that are also poor, but who have a home to live in. Both may struggle with incomes that are far less than they need to pay for housing. In fact, it is often some jolt to this precarious situation – a lost job or work hours, conflict with family members they are staying with, an unanticipated bill or violence within the home – that leads families to seek help from homeless service programs. Homeless families are usually headed by a single woman with limited education, are typically young, and have young children. Homelessness can have a tremendous impact on children – their education, health, sense of safety, and overall development. Children experiencing homelessness have been shown to:
• Have higher levels of emotional and behavioral problems
• Have increased risk of serious health problems
• Be more likely to experience separations from their families
• Experience more school mobility, repeat a grade, be expelled or drop out of school, and have lower academic performance
Housing is the solution to homelessness for low-income families. Most families would benefit from assistance to help them rapidly reconnect to permanent housing. Rapid re-housing provides help with housing search, financial assistance, and case management services to help families quickly transition out of shelter and back into housing of their own. A small subset of families may require more intensive or long-term support, through the provision of transitional housing, permanent rental assistance, or permanent supportive housing to escape homelessness. Families can also benefit from connection to other supports designed to strengthen and improve their lives, such as child care, employment assistance, early childhood services, income support, or mental health counseling. *******
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, youth homelessness is often rooted in family conflict. Other contributing factors include economic circumstances like poverty and housing insecurity, racial disparities, and mental health and substance use disorders. Young people who have had involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems are also more likely to become homeless. Many homeless youth and young adults have experienced significant trauma before and after becoming homeless and are particularly vulnerable, including victims of sexual trafficking and exploitation.
Youth and young adults need stable housing, supportive connections to caring adults, and access to mainstream services that will place them on a path to long-term success. Reunifying youth with family or a support system, when safe and appropriate, should be at the core of any approach. Young adults may also require broader education and employment supports and may need more low-barrier short- and long-term housing options, including rapid re-housing. Available permanent supportive housing programs should be prioritized only to the most vulnerable youth who have demonstrated a need for the most intensive interventions to successfully exit homelessness. ********
We are currently accepting Letters of Intent. Please see Notice of Funding Available for details.