History, diversity, southern charm…

Gadsden County is full of intriguing history, rolling hills, and thriving culture, and offers a nice change of pace a half hour away from the capital.

The Gadsden County Community Investment Team, a team of local volunteers, meets each year to oversee the agency review process in order to distribute locally raised funds. The team reviews extensive applications from each agency and hears testimonials from clients or agency volunteers. Team members then decide which agencies qualify for UWBB status and what level of funding each will receive for the upcoming year.

We work to solve local problems specific to Gadsden County. Through the help of our service providers, we fund programs focusing on Housing, Early Learning, Safety Net, Aging Workforce and Skills Development.

This year, United Way of the Big Bend underwent a strategic planning process to adopt a strategic reset for our organization. We have long been the trusted leader in addressing our community’s needs but also recognize the importance of staying relevant by keeping up with the ever growing community needs and changing philanthropic landscape.

This process was guided by the ALICE Report and other community data. ALICE is the acronym for Asset, Limited, Income, Constrained, Employed – simply put the working poor. The 2018 ALICE Report provides clear yet startling pictures of our neighbors struggling to make ends meet and of those living in poverty. On average, 50% of households in the Big Bend region cannot afford the basic costs of living. This number equates to over 72,000 families struggling day-to-day in the Big Bend.

   ALICE IN GADSDEN COUNTY

   2016 Point-in-Time Data

   Population: 46,153 • Number of Households: 16,885

   Median Household Income: $38,533 (state average: $50,860)

   Unemployment Rate: 9.6% (state average: 6.0%)

   ALICE Households: 37% (state average: 32%) • Households in Poverty: 22% (state average: 14%)