In 2018, United Way of the Big Bend (UWBB) 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, 54% 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.
Our new strategic direction positions UWBB to be more effective than ever in serving as the trusted strategic leader and convener for identifying and addressing the needs of those living in poverty and the working poor. Our goal is to shrink these populations in the future by focusing our collective resources on Economic Development through Workforce Enablement. Three goals and five priority outcome areas support this focus. The three goals are to help this population gain access to basic necessities, achieve economic stability and develop skills to either help gain employment or move up the economic ladder. Five funding priority outcomes anchor the three goals. Housing, Early Learning (to include elementary age and younger), Safety Net, Aging Workforce (to also include retired seniors) and Skills Development are the five funding priority outcomes. A graphic of our new strategic direction is below.