Healthy People, Healthy Communities

/Healthy People, Healthy Communities

From Poverty to Politics

Rose wants to be the first Indigenous prime minister—and she’s on the right path thanks to a United Way program.

Rose overcame mental health struggles with the help of a United Way tutoring program

“Growing up was tough—I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety as a kid. By the time I was a teenager, most days I just wanted to sleep all day, rather than face the world. I couldn’t eat, shower or even brush my teeth.

In grade nine, I started attending a United Way-funded tutoring and mentoring program after school, and the support I had there made such a big difference.
During high school, my family struggled with poverty, which made life very hard. After we paid for rent or other necessities, sometimes we couldn’t afford to pay our heating bill, or had no money left over for food.

Eventually, my family of five became homeless and […]

A Place to Find Comfort

When Nuhaa’s family first moved to Canada, it was a difficult adjustment. But a United Way program made it easier.

“I was born in Syria, but when I was four, my family had to leave because it was too dangerous there. So we went to Jordan. I liked it there because my grandparents and aunts and uncles would spend summers with us. When I was eight, we moved to Canada because my parents thought we could have a better life here.

Coming to Canada was not good and not bad. I was excited about meeting other people, but I missed my family and I was scared of going to school because I was shy. I was afraid nobody would want to play with me or be my friend because I didn’t speak English.

An after-school program helped Nuhaa feel more […]

A Lesson in Empowerment

Emily struggled at school, but a United Way program helped her get on track.

Emily says a United Way high school completion program kept her motivated and accountable.

“When I was in grade 11, I had a big falling-out with my family and ended up moving out. After I left my family home, I felt really overwhelmed by having to manage school and life. Just getting to school was a challenge on its own, even without the homework. And there was a lot of homework, because I was in advanced placement classes. I was falling behind. I would get the bare minimum done and I missed so many assignments. My attendance record was bad.

Then I connected with a United Way high school completion program and the staff really motivated me to want to be there. They were people I needed to be accountable to. I knew […]

Finding Home Again – United Way of Northern BC

United Way agencies helped AJ when he left home as a teen. Now, he’s reconnected with his family, thinking about school, and helping other young people.

When AJ was experiencing homelessness, United Way helped him get support.

When I was nine or 10, I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). That led to other diagnoses: generalized anxiety and depression.

Growing up, I was in the gifted program at school, but I got into shouting matches with my teachers. Things like that happened a lot. Teachers were constantly telling me to leave. Eventually, I did — I’m a high school dropout. I pretty much stopped going to school in Grade 10.

My first job was working at a fast food restaurant, where they viewed me as difficult because I wouldn’t take out the trash. My refusal to take out the trash was because of my OCD, which was germ-related […]

Overcoming Homelessness to Help Others

Travis went from experiencing homelessness to studying at university. Now, he’s helping others get their lives on track.

Travis works part time at a local shelter, where he uses his own past to help people experiencing homelessness.

“Becoming homeless was really stressful. The first time I really didn’t have anywhere to stay, I spent the night on the shores of a lake in my neighbourhood. I didn’t know what else to do.

It started when I was 15—I was removed from my family home by the police when things got really bad one day. I ended up doing a lot of couch surfing, but thankfully, I only spent a few nights outside.

Things didn’t get better when I graduated from high school; they actually got worse. I was still angry and hurt. I ended up hitchhiking across the country, getting into drugs and living on the streets.

Working Toward a New Future

How a United Way-funded social enterprise helped a young woman get her life back on track.

“I played every sport when I was growing up. As I got older, I decided to focus on basketball. It was very exciting and allowed me to learn life skills. I was a social butterfly. One coach kept coming to my games and, eventually, he offered me a scholarship. I transitioned from high school basketball straight into college and it completely changed my life.

My father died when I was seven, so my mom was both a mother and father figure for most of my life. But even though my mom was there, she was working hard to support us so that we could live in a decent area. Really, I raised myself.

Then, when I was 18, my mom went to go live in a different country. I had to […]

2019-01-22T13:41:53-07:00November 22nd, 2018|Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Impact Stories|

Overcoming a Painful Past to Help Others

When Atiya experienced domestic violence, she had to overcome cultural barriers to seek help. Today, she helps other women.


Atiya says it’s important to reassure women that domestic violence can happen to anyone, in any culture

“It’s a challenge to navigate the system as a victim. There are several barriers women in the South Asian community face: the lack of information, the lack of awareness that help is out there and understanding that it is okay to reach out. I’m currently separated from my husband and in the process of getting a divorce, but when I was experiencing domestic violence, my biggest challenge was not getting immediate community support. It was so difficult to escape the violence I was experiencing—and that my two children were witnessing—because I felt like I had no one to turn to.

In our culture, the issue of domestic violence is very personal. […]

2019-01-22T13:46:28-07:00October 22nd, 2018|Healthy People, Healthy Communities, Impact Stories|

Community Investment Grant awarded to Friends of Children


Thursday, 13th September 2018

United Way of Northern BC Community Investment Grant awarded to Friends of Children

Prince George, BC – United Way of Northern BC (UWNBC) is pleased to announce that it has awarded a $2,500 grant for the 2018-2019 funding cycle to Friends of Children Society for its Northern BC Family Support Program.  

Each year not-for-profit agencies, that provide community social programming, can apply for Community Investment Funding from the United Way of Northern BC.  UWNBC focuses on three main pillars – to move people From Poverty to Possibility;  develop Healthy People, Strong Communities and to allow children to develop into All that Kids Can Be.

United Way’s mission is to meet the urgent human needs and improve social conditions by mobilizing the community’s volunteer and financial […]

2018-09-24T16:48:58-07:00September 13th, 2018|All That Kids Can Be, Healthy People, Healthy Communities|

Recovery Support Available for 2018 BC Wildfires

As an incredibly tough wildfire season continues, our hearts go out to the many people affected. Red Cross has been working with local governments and First Nations to support emergency social services and psychosocial support where requested.

For those who have been able to return home, Red Cross early recovery support is now available. Red Cross community outreach teams are already active in several communities, coordinating with Band Leadership and local authorities in fire-impacted areas as evacuation orders are lifted.

Individuals and families can meet with Red Cross Community outreach teams for a confidential assessment for early recovery assistance and referrals to external supports. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis to assist with basic needs, such as food or clothing, and medical needs.

For more information on the location of our community outreach teams, call 1-800-863-6582 or visit 

2018-09-05T15:54:40-07:00September 5th, 2018|Healthy People, Healthy Communities|

BC211 here to help during the BC Wildfires 2018

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have been affected by the fires in the North.

United Way’s bc211 is here to help.

With critical information on emergency and crisis services, such as disaster relief, municipal emergency services departments, fire centres, shelters and mental health services, bc211 and United Way of Northern BC is here.

Click this link to get the direct page for the support info:

2018-08-22T14:39:22-07:00August 22nd, 2018|BC211, Healthy People, Healthy Communities|