United Way of Northern New Jersey
About United Way of Northern New Jersey
What We Do
Together We Achieve More
United Way of Northern New Jersey is working hard to build a strong community — where workers earn enough to meet their needs, can build a personal safety net to weather a crisis, and have access to quality care for vulnerable family members.
We are striving for racial and financial equity for individuals and families in poverty and those living paycheck to paycheck, known as ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
We do this by assessing the needs and rallying the community to address the barriers that are keeping struggling families from achieving financial and personal success. Because when one of us wins, we all win.
United Way mobilizes the caring power of communities to advance the common good.
We improve lives and community conditions by assessing needs, developing solutions, raising funds, convening partners, and mobilizing citizens to act.
We believe that improving life for all starts with improving life for ALICE.
An acronym: ALICE represents the growing number of families who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. Despite working — oftentimes at more than one job — these households are unable to afford the basics of housing, food, child care, health care, technology, and transportation.
A research project: Through a series of new, standardized measurements, ALICE provides data that quantifies the size of the workforce that is struggling financially, providing a broader picture of financial insecurity than traditional federal poverty guidelines portray.
A real person: ALICE is the child care educator who prepares your child for the future, the home health aide who cares for your loved one, and the mechanic who fixes your car, ensuring you are safe out on the road. These essential workers are vital to the fabric of our society.
When ALICE suffers and is forced to make difficult choices, we all face serious consequences. United Way is fighting for ALICE – a population that is critical to the stability of our communities. We are looking beyond temporary fixes to find solutions that result in long-term, sustainable change for individuals and families.
How We Do It
For a growing number of New Jersey households, the struggle to survive has become a way of life. Every day, families make tough choices such as deciding between quality child care and paying the rent.
According to the latest ALICE Report, 1.2 million households in New Jersey are unable to afford the state’s high cost of living. That number includes those living in poverty and the population called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE households represent men and women of all ages and races who are working, but unable to afford the basics of housing, food, child care, health care, technology, and transportation. They are child care workers, mechanics, home health aides, and office assistants — workers we rely on every day.
There is no one “silver bullet” that will make the difference. However, through our ALICE Reports, we have provided a nonpartisan tool that business, government, nonprofits, the faith-based community, and residents can use to work together to improve conditions for ALICE and all residents.
United Way of Northern New Jersey is raising funds and investing in solutions that positively impact the people in our community. We believe that by securing racial and economic equity for ALICE we can improve life for all. We’re investing in ALICE’s future in the workplace, at home, and across the community. Here’s how:
- Workplace Innovation: We are building a stronger workforce by advancing ALICE-friendly workplace policies and standards.
- Individual And Family Success: We are creating paths to financial stability through education, training, and services that help families build careers and personal wealth.
- Community Connections: We are preventing children from falling behind and family caregivers from emotional, physical, and financial collapse.
United Way connects people and organizations to solve the greatest needs of our community.
We provide the leadership, convene the partnerships, and develop the resources and solutions that improve our community.
Real change occurs when organizations band together to solve a specific social problem using a common agenda, common measures, and complementary activities. United Way brings several groups together to focus on our greatest challenges and implement solutions.
Our goals for the next fiscal year are to help vulnerable families overcome barriers and move toward stable work and financial security. Through our programs and advocacy work, we will help:
- 50 caregivers receive assistive technology
- 2,300 unpaid family caregivers receive the resources and supports needed to care for a loved one who is ill, frail, or living with a disability
- 8,000 financially stretched families receive free tax preparation and filing services
- 20,000 children access quality early education and child care
When a community comes together and supports one another with the same common goals — which is what it means to “Live United” — great things happen.
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