United Way is working to build a stronger community by creating opportunities and improving the quality of life for others. Everyone deserves to enjoy life. That’s why United Way of Miami County is focusing our efforts on:
Education — Help youth and adults achieve their full potential in academics, work and life
Income — To help promote financial stability and independence among individuals and families
Health — Helping people lead healthy and productive lives
Advancing the common good is about changing community systems to help all of us. Everyone is connected and interdependent, so we all win when students/adults succeed in furthering their education, families are financially stable, and people are healthy. United Way’s goal is to provide direction and accountability to promote education, health, and financial independence. It takes everyone in the community, working together, to create a brighter future.
The level and quality of early childhood education available to children is impacted by the amount of family resources. Equally, educational achievement is determined by a number of factors outside of the school environment, including after-school and summer educational activities. Homelessness and the lack of health care affects school achievement and learning.
Education is visibly linked to family financial stability. Greater education success leads to higher wages and incomes, lower unemployment, better health outcomes, lower incarceration, and greater volunteerism rates. Increased gaps in education achievement will have lasting effects on children and youth in Miami County. Many low-income parents are unable to provide the resources or support necessary to break the cycle of poverty of their own children.
Many vulnerable Hoosiers do not have access to affordable health care and providers. Many children and adults lack access to appropriate health care service and providers resulting in higher rates of diseases among poor and racially minority neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the uninsured or underinsured typically do not seek routine health care or delay receiving necessary health care service because of cost. The lack of insurance also results in inappropriate use of local hospital emergency rooms for preventive and non-emergency care.
The cost of prescriptions creates a health care barrier for not only low income families but ALICE households. Having no prescription coverage means a person may have to choose between medication or other basic needs (e.g. food, rent, utilities, etc.).
Good health is a key indicator for family economic success. Health problems, mental health issues, and drug or alcohol dependency are major obstacles to steady employment. Expanding access to comprehensive health care is therefore a key to increasing employment.
Education and workforce development are critical to preparing workers for new technologies in Miami County. Employers are also demanding greater skills in literacy, ethics, decision making, and positive work habits. Individuals with higher levels of literacy are more likely to be employed, earn more, and rely less on public assistance. Those without basic literacy skills have little hope of attaining higher levels of education required for financial and employment stability.
This is significant evidence that the economic struggles faced by families have a lasting effect on kids, including education achievement, cognitive development, and emotional and behavior outcomes. With poverty on the rise, more children will struggle with their education, which will ultimately result in substantial consequences for generations (Economic Policy Institute).