PROMOTE FINANCIAL STABILITY AND INDEPENDANCE
For a number of years, UK wages have not kept pace with inflation. 20% of our population are earning less than the ‘living wage’. Transport and childcare costs make having a job expensive; housing and energy costs make having a home expensive.
United Way has identified evidence-based strategies and approaches in 5 key areas that drive its financial stability work. These 5 areas are:
- Family-Sustaining Employment
- Income Supports
- Savings and Assets
- Manageable Expenses
- Affordable Housing
With the inclusion of family-sustaining employment as a focus of its financial stability work, United Ways have increasingly focused on education and training, job acquisition, and career advancement as part of its larger strategy for helping families obtain jobs that pay family sustaining wages.
WHAT ARE WE DOING IN THE UK?
In the UK, we want to promote similar community-change strategies to help families meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals.
In Liverpool, our programme to reduce homelessness is delivered in partnership with Young Persons Advisory Service (YPAS), Sheila Kay Fund, Liverpool Homeless Football League and the Whitechapel Centre. We also have commitment from several other agencies working with young people, in particular who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Our initial aim is to support partner organisations to get practical help to those most in need. This will include:
- One to one support sessions
- Support with funding to help re-engage with education
- Emergency funding to support individuals (through our Aid in Sickness Fund and William Edmonds Funds)
- Skills for life training
- Emergency accommodation project
The programme is aligned with the City Council’s Homelessness Strategy. Our goal is to develop a funding base of donors, both individual and corporate, to support the development of the programme. We have supported:
- Over 360 people into secure tenancy
- Over 90 young people with information and guidance
- Over 120 homeless men engaged in sports activity
We are actively seeking charities, businesses and individuals who already work or want to work to make a difference in financial stability on a local or national level. If this is you, please do get in touch.