United Way is helping people become more self-sufficient in meeting their basic needs through partners, programs and initiatives designed to:
- Ensure all residents have adequate access to healthcare, housing and food.
Partners and initiatives helping to achieve our basic needs goals include:
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
United Way facilitates a committee process that makes recommendations for the disbursement of federal funds to local agencies that provide services related to emergency food, shelter, and utility assistance.
Food Resource Committee - Emergency Food Resource Fund
A collaborative spearheaded by the United Way to assess the needs of our area food pantries and soup kitchens, this initiative provides assurance that our most vulnerable citizens are not without access to food. The committee’s work is a collective approach to issues such as food stamp utilization, food selection and quantity at CT Food Bank, increased need during the holidays, case management practices and access to other human service information. An emergency fund was established to provide assistance to emergency food programs in crisis due to insufficient resources.
Holiday Assistance Program
Each year the United Way, along with various community partners of the Food Resource Committee, collects holiday food for needy families and individuals in our community distributing turkeys along with fixings to food pantry clients. United Way organizes the collection and comparison of client information in an effort to eliminate duplication and serve more families, looking at the system of food delivery and leveraging our resources. United Way collects turkeys and cash donations from residents and businesses as well.
Stock the Pantry
Created by the Food Resource Committee and implemented by UWGW, the "Stock the Pantry" food drive is activated periodically as needed, connecting United Way corporate partners - area businesses -with local Food Pantries needs. This Day of Action encourages companies collect food items on the Food Pantry Wish List and deliver them to the CT Food Bank warehouse in Waterbury where local pantries shop for food they distribute.
Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness/Continuum of Care Collaborative
The Waterbury Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness is a regional strategic plan to end homelessness, not by managing homelessness but by investing in its prevention. Stakeholders from throughout the region, including city and community leaders, housing providers, faith-based leaders, neighborhood leaders, and the formerly homeless, are working together to assessing the need, the gaps, the barriers, and collaborations and resources that will be necessary to reach the goal of ending homelessness.
An annual HUD application is developed by the Collaborative to bring additional affordable housing and support services to Waterbury. These HUD applications provide an opportunity to receive federal dollars to support community planning to end chronic homelessness and securing affordable housing vouchers and support services. To date over $4 million has been awarded. United Way provides leadership along with funding to support a part-time support staff position, grant writer and acts as fiduciary for Project Homeless Connect, an annual service day for homeless community members.
FamilyWize, a free resource being provided free of charge as a community service by our United Way and the FamilyWize Partnership, provides access to prescription drugs at a discounted price for people with no insurance and for medicine not covered by an insurance plan or Medicare. There is no income limit, age requirement, eligibility or registration required. Simply present a FamilyWize card and prescription to a participating pharmacy to obtain the discounted price of up to 30%. There are fourteen participating pharmacies in the United Way ten-town area.