UNITED WAY MIAMI RESPONDS TO EVOLVING COMMUNITY NEEDS WITH EXPANDED FOCUS AND NAME

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UNITED WAY MIAMI RESPONDS TO EVOLVING COMMUNITY NEEDS WITH EXPANDED FOCUS AND NAME

COVID-19 pandemic survey highlights acute needs and support for equity

 MIAMI (September 20, 2021) – After 97 years serving Miami, and with an eye toward its upcoming centennial, United Way of Miami-Dade is changing its name to United Way Miami. At the same time, the organization will expand its emphasis on equity, while also focusing on strategic opportunities to improve the lives of the more than half (54%) of Miami-Dade households who are struggling to get by. This work will be conducted across the following key pillars: Education, Financial Stability, and Health.

“With this name change, we are doubling down on our commitment to improve the quality of life for those in need in Miami-Dade County. By bringing together people, resources, nonprofit and corporate partners that support our efforts, we will achieve a community where all people have access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives. This is the foundation for a thriving Miami,” Maria C. Alonso, United Way Miami President and Chief Executive Officer.

The need for equity is supported by a COVID-19 Impact Survey conducted by United Way Miami in 2021 to identify points of pain for households in poverty and those on the precipice of poverty (identified as ALICE – Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). Within these two groups, more than 65% of respondents rely on income from hourly jobs, most without guaranteed hours.

Findings show that during the pandemic:

  • Basic needs were not met: more than 83% of respondents had issues related to basic needs such as childcare, education and housing expenses.
  • Support was needed to cover gaps: almost 40% received food from a food bank or pantry while 38% needed to borrow money from friends or family to cover basic needs.
  • Health and well-being were adversely impacted: almost 30% went without needed medical care.

According to Robert E. Sanchez, United Way Miami Board Chair and Ryder System, Inc. Chairman and CEO, “We are dedicated to leveraging all our assets, including strategic investments, direct services, awareness building, and public policy, to create a more equitable community in Miami. We welcome the participation and support of the public and private sectors, non-profit organizations and individual volunteers in bringing this vision to life.”

United Way will continue to serve the needs of Miami-Dade County with the name change serving to signal future growth, connect with the geographical center of the county and align with Miami’s international reputation for possibility, aspiration and resilience.

ABOUT UNITED WAY MIAMI COVID-19 IMPACT SURVEY
Before COVID hit, approximately 485,000 Miami-Dade households (54%) were already struggling to get by. These households were below the ALICE Threshold, which includes households in poverty and those considered ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), who earn above the Federal Poverty Level but not enough to cover basic expenses. In a March 2021 survey, 3,120 of these households (and 1,735 households who earn above the ALICE Threshold) shared what life has been like for them during this time of profound uncertainty.

ABOUT UNITED WAY MIAMI
United Way Miami is a driving force in the community, successfully responding to emerging needs and transforming people’s lives. Since 1924, we have worked together with our network of donors, volunteers, and partners, to generate and amplify resources, and advocate for policies that improve the quality of life for all. We leverage our unique role as convener, strategic funder, service provider, awareness builder, and influencer so that everyone in Miami-Dade has access to quality education and the opportunity to lead healthy and financially secure lives — the building blocks of a thriving community.

September 21, 2021