Last June, we launched our Blueprint for Prosperity, with the goal of eradicating poverty in Southeast Louisiana. We know that this is an ambitious goal, and that's why we outlined a plan to build collaborations with service and funding partners around the key issues that impact our families living in poverty: high quality education; safer communities; access to quality, affordable healthcare; and pathways to high-wage, high-demand jobs. We've also honed our program investment strategy to align around measurable indicators that will move the needle on poverty, and our legislative agenda also directly aligns with these same issues.
We are investing in programs and collaborations that address issues of mental and physical wellness, income and employment, and education. We advocate for policy that builds safer and healthier communities, and brings necessary funds into our region.
We share our data, such as the ALICE report, and our forthcoming Prosperity Dashboard, to measure and track where we are along the path to ending poverty, and build partnerships with others who care about these same issues.
United Way invested in 88 programs, and 7 collaborative partnerships to fight poverty.
233,000 people were served through funded agencies.
39,000 people were served through United Way's own internal programs and initiatives.
$18 million was put back into the hands of individuals in our community through United Way's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, which also includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and the School Readiness Tax Credit, both of which United Way advocates for as part of its annual Public Policy agenda.
$320,000 in Emergency Food and Shelter Protection grants was distributed via United Way in partnership with the Federal Emergency Food and Shelter Program.
Approximately $800,000 was saved by individuals on their prescription drug costs through United Way's FamilyWize Community Service Partnership.
$4.4 Million in purchases were made for assets such as homes, automobiles, secondary education and small businesses through United Way's Individual Development Account Project, funded by Entergy, Assets for Family Independence and other partners.
In 2016 alone, United Way of Southeast Louisiana leveraged the collective generosity of donors throughout our region and delivered a total of $23.5 Million in service value back to the members of our community.
Following the disasters that struck our region in the last year, your United Way was able to provide immediate relief and recovery efforts. And we continue with long-term recovery efforts working to rebuild the lives of 80 families by year end. As we work on our long term recovery from both the August flood and January tornado, your United Way will invest over $1.5 million dollars in recovery efforts.
Having received truckloads of materials and supplies which came from every corner of our country and totaled more than $1.4 Million in value - we were able to immediately impact those in need. We have mobilized 592 volunteers giving 1,575 hours for tornado work, 400 volunteers giving 2,100 hours in the first six weeks after the flood helping muck/gut homes and working at the warehouse, and we have already engaged over 614 volunteers giving 10,232 hours of time in rebuilding.
Adding all these up: we have engaged 1,606 volunteers, giving 13,907 hours of service, making an economic impact of $361,210 to the community. We all know who ALICE is. Many in our region are just one disaster away from being ALICE. Together we are confronting and overcoming the struggles of rebuilding efforts all across our region.
Under our Blueprint for Prosperity, to better align social services to help individuals and families increase income and savings, decrease debt, and build assets, United Way of Southeast Louisiana is creating a Prosperity Center, or Financial Stability One Stop Center, to launch this campaign year.
The Prosperity Center will focus on three Core Services:
Employment Placement and Career Improvement Service
Financial Education and Coaching
Public Benefits Access
None of this work would be possible if not for the tremendous effort and commitment of our volunteers and partners to improve the lives of every person in every community that we serve. Each role is essential to achieving our vision. However, each year there are a few individuals whose efforts may serve to inspire the rest of us to continue the fight. View our complete list of Live United Awards here.
SAVE THE DATE
October 12 | 6 p.m.
Hyatt Regency Ballroom - 601 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113
This year's honor will be bestowed on Mr. J. Wayne Leonard, former Entergy Corporation Chairman and CEO.