United for Financial Security is one of Orange County United Way’s key initiatives.
We’re doing more to ensure our struggling families find financial security by delivering programs that focus on the most important tools to build financial stability: establishing a Safety Net, empowering Financial Wellness, developing Workforce Solutions, and promoting Public Awareness & Education.
With your help, these high impact, boots on the ground programs will help Orange County families get on the path to financial security.
THE CHALLENGE–PATHWAYS TO FINANCIAL SECURITY
The widespread perception is that Orange County is affluent and prospering. But the facts of poverty in Orange County indicate that the social and economic gaps here in our county are wide and are continuing to grow.
A 2019 statewide report showed that 1 out of every 3 households in Orange County struggles to meet their most basic needs. And, due to the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing newly vulnerable households—families who have never had to seek assistance before—making financial security even more of a growing concern in our community as we look to relief and recovery efforts.
At Orange County United Way, we are United for Financial Security℠ to ensure everyone who lives here is financially stable. We are working to achieve this through strategic goals that focus on the most important tools and pathways to economic stability.
HOW WE DO MORE TO BUILD FINANCIAL SECURITY
OC Free Tax Prep
Our OC Free Tax Prep program helps low income families keep their hard-earned money through saving on preparation fees, claiming tax credits, and receiving their refunds quickly and safely. This past year, refunds were often a safety net for local households to put towards bills, car repairs, groceries, and other basic needs.
Covered CA Outreach
We actively engage in outreach and education for Covered CA to ensure all individuals and families in our community have access to healthcare, which is essential for promoting and maintaining good health, and achieving health equity for all individuals.
Emergency Food and Shelter Program
We administer the funding for Orange County’s Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP), which provides federal funds for the provision of food and shelter for families and individuals at the local level. Through this effort, we provide expert guidance to the OC EFSP board to determine funding allocation needs across the county and ensure EFSP goals, policies, and standards are met.
Our SparkPoint OC program promotes financial empowerment through free one-on-one financial coaching to increase income, manage credit, and build assets through savings and asset planning to reach goals like buying a home or paying for college.
Our workforce development program, UpSkill OC, is an innovative, collaborative approach to bridging the skills gap in various industries and creating pathways to jobs that pay a living wage.
PUBLIC AWARENESS & EDUCATION
Keeping It Real OC
Through our Keeping It Real OC quarterly virtual panels, we provide expert insights and dialogue designed to shed light on the critical needs of Orange County families who are struggling to get by, along with solutions that can help families develop financial security. We also engage in broad public awareness activities through social media, speaking engagements, and other public educational opportunities.
UNITED WAY IN ACTION: BUILDING FINANCIAL SECURITY
people served by OC Free Tax Prep during the 2021 tax season
households coached for better financial stability through SparkPoint OC
individuals benefited from UpSkill OC workforce develop
FOUNDATIONAL WORK: EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE, EMERGENCY FOOD AND SHELTER
Because helping neighbors in an emergency is what we do. We assisted local individuals so they could stay in their homes, avoid hunger and have basic necessities during crisis.
people in Santa Ana received Emergency Rental Assistance
individuals received food and meal distribution assistance (managed by United Way)
Source: Scorecard Report 2021-2022
After a long and complicated divorce, Alba was forced to start over and rebuild her life. In order to support herself and her daughter, she realized she needed to find a career that provided more work-life balance. With an interest in human well-being and development and a desire to make an impact in her local community, Alba decided she wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare industry. After connecting with Orange County United Way’s UpSkill OC program, Alba was accepted to Concorde Career College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program. Through hard work, diligent communication, and unwavering dedication, Alba has successfully completed her first quarter of training. “It’s been a real blessing as I work my way up to being a registered nurse. The staff has been so wonderful in helping me get started, providing career advice, and providing funding and support for training. Their services are excellent, to say the least. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
THANK YOU DONORS
Big THANK YOU to these donors who contributed $20,000+ to support United for Financial Security programs.