United Way launches revised plan to reduce poverty and increase prosperity in Larimer County

In an effort to better address the most critical problems in our community, United Way of Larimer County has introduced the Community Impact Plan version 2.0, an updated plan focused on bringing together community partners in a collective movement to reduce poverty and increase prosperity in Larimer County.

“We are fortunate to live in a great community where many nonprofits and community organizations are doing great work. Yet, one in seven people in Larimer County live in poverty. More who live above the federal poverty threshold struggle each month to pay for basic necessities and build a better life for their families, and these problems continue to grow,” said Nick Christensen, Board Chair for UWLC. “These issues affect all of us, and we must work together to address them. The Community Impact Plan is about bringing the community together in a collective movement to drive long-term change in Larimer County and increase prosperity for everyone.”

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United Way’s Community Impact Plan focuses on reducing poverty and increasing prosperity in Larimer County through three impact areas:

· Education: Helping youth succeed in school and life by focusing on school readiness, early literacy, youth success, graduation, and post-secondary success.

· Income: Helping families become financially stable and independent by focusing on employment and job training, financial capability, and affordable housing.

· Health: Creating a more stable community by focusing on basic needs, emergency and disaster assistance, services for seniors to maintain independence, and resources for individuals with disabilities to live healthy lifestyles.

The new Community Impact Plan builds upon the original Plan published by UWLC in 2011, which established the bold community goal to “Cut Poverty in Half in Larimer County by 2025.” Since then, UWLC has worked closely with nonprofit and community partners to refine the Plan based on new learning, ongoing monitoring of community conditions, and community feedback.

“Reducing poverty only tells part of the story of improving the quality of life for all people in Larimer County,” said Gordan Thibedeau, President and CEO at UWLC. “We must also build lasting change by addressing the root causes of poverty and creating more pathways to prosperity that increase opportunities for all people in our community to reach their full potential. This new Plan outlines how we, as a community, can come together and achieve maximum impact.”

More than 80 community organizations, including nonprofit human service agencies, schools, volunteer groups, faith-based groups, government entities, and foundations, have applied to become a Community Impact Partner with United Way to address these community issues collectively. The official list of 2014 Community Impact Partners will be published in April 2014.