Our Work » About Our Work
At United Way of Northern New Jersey, we believe that everyone wins when children succeed in school and reach their potential, families are financially stable and independent, and individuals achieve and maintain good health throughout the stages of their lives. That is why we are working hard to address the barriers that hinder residents in our communities from attaining a quality Education, sufficient Income, and optimal Health.
It is alarming to learn how many individuals and families struggle to attain these very basic needs. According to the latest United Way of Northern New Jersey ALICE Report, 1.2 million households in New Jersey are unable to afford the state’s high cost of living. That number includes those living in poverty and a population called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
Our work in Education
Child care centers are closing, working families are struggling to find affordable, quality care, and schools are looking for meaningful ways to enhance student learning. What is the damage to our entire education system when some students are turned off to learning by first grade? How can we better engage students throughout their teenage years so they feel hopeful for their future?
United Way is working to help close the education inequality gap, with a laser focus on the successful development of our children – from preschool through high school. With a solid educational foundation and strong community support, our children will be able to achieve their potential, secure stable jobs, and lead productive lives.
Success By 6
Youth Empowerment Alliance
Our work in Income
Too many residents living in our communities do not earn enough to adequately meet their basic needs. According to the 2014 United Way ALICE Report – New Jersey, more than half of all jobs in the state pay less than $20 an hour ($40,000 annually). Our workers are forced to decide what gets paid. Groceries or essential medications? The electric bill or rent? How can we equip individuals to weather life’s challenges and rise above their circumstances?
United Way is working to create an environment where individuals are self-sufficient, needing little or no help from government or social services to maintain a stable home and satisfying life. With a livable wage and more affordable services, residents can be self-reliant and achieve financial independence.
Gateways to Financial Empowerment
Our work in Health
Quality, affordable health care is simply unattainable for many people living and working in northern New Jersey. For others, tending to the needs of an ailing spouse, parent, sibling, friend, or child dominates their lives. If unpaid family caregivers did not provide the bulk of the essential, day-to-day care for these individuals, our health care system would be crippled by the added burden. What can we do to ensure a person’s employment and health are not jeopardized as they care for a loved one?
United Way is working to improve conditions in our community so that each person receives necessary support when caring for a loved one, has access to healthy food options, and can live the best life possible.