Heart of Illinois
United Way

Heart of Illinois United Way's knows that financial stability promotes independence

Our Work in Financial Stability

Improving life skills increases independence

The Heart of Illinois United Way is focused on ensuring individuals and families achieve financial stability. To ensure people can thrive, our work focuses on providing opportunities to get them on their feet again and helping during emergencies and crises.

    United Way funds distributed to the Financial Stability Impact Area support programs focused on independent living and self-sufficiency, including:
  • Crisis and Disaster Services
  • Employment Services
  • Housing
  • Life Skills Education
  • Legal Support
    United Way funded financial stability programs provide . . .
  • Basic needs for food, shelter and clothing
  • Work-force skills that improve employability
  • Emergency relief that helps in times of need
  • Legal assistance to address family crises
    Here are just a few ways Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs are positively impacting financial stability in central Illinois:
  • 91% of families and individuals improved their life skills
  • 95% of individuals increased their knowledge of how to prevent natural disaster
  • 98% of individuals understood and resolved their legal issues
  • 81% of individuals and families in need of housing found affordable homes
  • 84% of individuals who found employment were continuously employed for one year
  • 97% of low-income seniors and persons with developmental or intellectual disabilities were able to live independently with food, shelter and transportation assistance
Help Put Food on the Table

Help Put Food on the Table

Did you know that 1 in 3 low-income families cannot afford basic household needs, often changing their eating habits or going without food to make ends meet? In Illinois, 26 percent of food pantries report having less food than is needed. With increased demand, pantries are struggling to fill the constant gap by making changes such as reducing the days they are open for distribution.

At the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service, the Friday Night Meal program has provided more than 92,500 meals to hungry men, women and children since 2015. This program provides hot, ready-made meals as well as a box with enough groceries to supply six more meals over the weekend. Hungry men, women and children are welcome and while at the agency, they can also access a variety of resources such as healthcare, legal assistance, nutritional education, cooking tips, and more.

WORKING WITH A JOB COACH IS THE PERFECT FIT

WORKING WITH A JOB COACH IS THE PERFECT FIT

Beginning in childhood, persons with developmental disabilities are affected by physical or intellectual impairments that impact day-to-day functioning throughout a person’s lifetime resulting in lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and fewer housing options. The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $232,000 annually in programs that provide job training and coaching, integrate individuals into the community, and provide safe housing through group homes and independent living apartments.

Dan, a client at EP!C’s Community Job Placement program, has been employed at Anytime Fitness since 2015. Along with the support of his job coach, Russell, Dan helps clean equipment and serves as the fitness center’s mascot outside of the store and at special events. Friendly and loving to interact with customers, Dan is working towards being as independent as possible.

Always Ready to Help when the Unexpected Happens

Always Ready to Help when the Unexpected Happens

Hundreds of people are affected by natural disasters every year in central Illinois.  Whether it’ is a fire, a storm or a flood that damages or destroys a home, or power outages that affect daily living, natural disasters disrupt lives. The Heart of Illinois United Way supports the Salvation Army (above), the American Red Cross and the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service that are always ready to help individuals dealing with a natural disaster find food, shelter and emotional support.

A Little Help Can Make Ends  Meet

A Little Help Can Make Ends Meet

Funded by the Heart of Illinois United Way, Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service helped more than 3,000 people last year improve their quality of life by providing food, personal hygiene and infant supplies to families and individuals in need.  By having these most basic of needs met, Friendship House is helping people, such as Kevin, afford the expenses of housing and utilities ... while helping them gain self-sufficiency in times of need.

For a complete list of United Way Funded Financial Stability-Related programs, click here.


United Way Financial Stability Programs at Work

To see United Way funded financial stability programs at work visit our YouTube channel.

Did You Know?

Poverty rates for people over  age 65 continue to rise in central Illinois, and it's estimated that 30 percent  of seniors who live alone deal with depression, isolation and suicide.

Poverty rates for people over age 65 continue to rise in central Illinois, and it's estimated that 30 percent of seniors who live alone deal with depression, isolation and suicide. With nursing home costs averaging $6,000 per month, seniors who receive home-delivered meals or in-home counseling feel less isolated, are more secure about staying in their home, have less falls and hospitalizations, and benefit from more nutritious meals.

Did You Know? The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $425,000 annually in programs that help seniors remain independent including in-home counseling, home-delivered meals, senior abuse advocacy and special transportation services.

If you give $1 a week, you can provide more than two weeks of warm meals and friendly visits to a senior who is struggling to live on his or her own. If you give $10 a week, you can help a homebound senior remain living independently for one year with in-home counseling and support.

Poverty rates in central  Illinois are highest for families with a single female head of household and  children under the age of 18.

Poverty rates in central Illinois are highest for families with a single female head of household and children under the age of 18. The growing gap between rising housing costs and more people in central Illinois making less than $10,000 annually, means many families and individuals have to deal with becoming homeless or having to make ends meet by giving up basic necessities such as food or clothing. And with disasters such as tornadoes, floods and fires damaging or destroying homes, emergency housing needs can affect anyone at any time.

Did You Know? The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $640,000 annually in programs addressing housing and homelessness needs.  These programs provide emergency shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive, affordable housing. Programs prepare low-income families for homeownership by providing housing assistance, life management classes and emergency shelter assistance. Not only is having a place to call home vital to a family's overall well-being, homelessness makes it difficult for adults to maintain consistent employment, and it affects children by often leading to lower grades.

If you give $20 a week, you can help improve the financial stability of 13 low-income individuals or families through case management that provides access to affordable housing, offers budgeting skills, and includes opportunities to further their education or employment.

Persons with developmental  disabilities are affected by physical or intellectual impairments. These  conditions begin in childhood and continue to impact day-to-day functioning  throughout a person’s lifetime. Persons with developmental disabilities have  lower incomes, higher unemployment rates and fewer housing options.

Persons with developmental disabilities are affected by physical or intellectual impairments. These conditions begin in childhood and continue to impact day-to-day functioning throughout a person’s lifetime. Persons with developmental disabilities have lower incomes, higher unemployment rates and fewer housing options.

Did You Know? The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $232,000 annually to programs that provide employment, life skills and homes for adults with developmental disabilities. These programs increase income and savings, integrate individuals into the community, and provide safe housing options through group homes and independent living apartments.

If you give $20 a week, you can provide 55 hours of life-skills training to persons with developmental disabilities helping them learn to manage money, plan meals, use public transportation and live independently.