What We Do
United Way’s mission is to improve lives and build a strong and caring community. Thanks to the generosity of over 3,000 donors, 300 work sites and hundreds of volunteers, United Way funds a strong and stable network of programs and services that help vulnerable people in our community reach their full potential.
We invest in three priority areas:
- All that kids can be – supporting kids and youth with resources to grow up healthy and transition into adulthood
- From poverty to possibility – building individuals’ financial stability and independence through access to healthy food, affordable housing and employment
- Healthy people, strong communities – developing the capacity of people to care for themselves and families by creating opportunities and places for social interaction
We research the root causes of social problems such as poverty, homelessness, family violence and social isolation, identify gaps, invest in solutions, evaluate our progress and report back to our donors. United Way works to make a measurable difference in communities from Haida Gwaii to Fort Nelson to Valemount.
Thoroughness, transparency and fairness are crucial when making funding decisions. This requires a deep understanding of our communities, existing vulnerabilities and emerging needs. Here’s a snapshot of how we fund to ensure maximum impacts are achieved.
- United Way staff complete a structured review of all past funding, reviewing performance, identifying community trends, analyzing proposed impact goals and the fit with applicants’ mandate(s), and reviewing agencies’ organisational and financial stability.
- Review panels of community experts in each of the three United Way priority funding areas provide their perspectives on community needs, gaps in services and achievements of existing programs. The suitability of each agency to have a positive impact is discussed and funding recommendations are made.
- A steering committee analyzes the recommendations, considering how best to achieve social change in our community while also ensuring that United Way achieves its mission. These discussions result in a refined funding recommendation.
- The United Way Board of Directors reviews the recommendations, its fit with mission, investment strategy and community need and finalizes funding decisions.
The information below is in reference to the United Way’s priority funding areas that are reported on annually. This is intended to help ensure a common understanding with our community partners and help demonstrate how our resources, skills and capacity are improving our community
All That Kids Can Be
- Early Years: Supports to promote the healthy development of pre-school children (aged 0-6 years old), including supporting their physical, mental, social and emotional growth, and providing services and resources to their parents and caregivers. Includes, but is not limited to, pre and postnatal care, parenting programs, parentchild resource centres, school readiness, and home visiting.
- Middle Years: Supports to promote the healthy development of school-aged children (aged 7-11 years old), including supporting their physical, mental, social, emotional and academic well-being, and providing services and resources to their parents and caregivers.
- Youth: Supports to promote the physical, mental, social, emotional, and economic development and well-being of youth (aged 12-24 years old), including services to support academic and educational achievement, leadership development, job training and supports, community development and civic engagement, settlement and integration, social and recreational participation, and violence and conflict prevention.
Poverty to Possibility
- Food Security: Supports to ensure access to food for individuals and families experiencing food insecurity, and supports to build community by growing, cooking and sharing food together. Includes, but is not limited to, breakfast/snack programs, community gardens, cooking programs, meals on wheels, community meals, food collection programs.
- Housing Stability: Supports to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to find and maintain housing, meet basic needs, and promote health and well-being.
- Employment: Supports to assist individuals to develop their job skills and to enhance their ability to find and maintain employment. Includes, but is not limited to employment counseling, resume preparation assistance, interview training and other pre-job guidance services, skills upgrading, training and development programs, mentoring.
- Financial Literacy & Asset Development Programs: Supports to individuals to develop their knowledge and skills to manage their personal financial resources effectively and help them make more informed money management decisions that improve their financial outcomes and build their financial security. Including but not limited to, banking services information and support, financial assessment tools, financial management workshops, personal financial counseling, tax preparation assistance.
- Neighbourhood Development & Engagement: Supports to strengthen communities and neighbourhoods by engaging residents, community stakeholders, community organizations, funders, government and academic partners to: improve the quality of neighbourhood life, and foster community cohesion; build and maintain an adequate network of neighbourhood infrastructure, social services and community programs; engage in policy and research activities to understand and support communities and neighbourhoods; and increase public awareness of the importance of strong neighbourhoods for a strong and vibrant city.
- Newcomer Settlement and Integration: Supports to assist newcomers to settle and integrate by meeting immediate needs and providing longer term assistance, and supports to help newcomer communities engage by building community capacity, leadership and voice. Services to meet immediate needs include, but are not limited to, settlement and orientation counseling, information and referral to services, translation and interpretation. 3. Community Mental Health: Supports to promote mental health and well-being, increase public awareness, reduce stigma, and provide community-based mental health programs, including preventive services, crisis support services, addiction services and self-help resources. Also includes support for those living with chronic illnesses.
- Seniors: Supports to promote healthy and active living among seniors and to support seniors to live independently, either in their own homes or in supportive housing. Includes services such as adult day programs, congregate dining, seniors’ centres, and transportation to medical appointments, shopping, banking and other activities, and supports to caregivers.
- Domestic Violence: Supports to assist men, women and children who have experienced physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse in domestic relationships, including crisis intervention, emergency shelters, counseling and transitional services, parenting supports, and legal support, as well as advocacy, preventative work and public education.
- People with Disabilities: Supports to help adults and children with physical or developmental disabilities to live independently and actively participate in their communities, and supports to assist family members and caregivers. Also includes information, support, educational events and other resources to help people with chronic illnesses to live well.