About United Way’s Work

United Way's Income Initiative

Family financial stability cannot be achieved without safe, affordable, stable housing, which is a key component of United Way's Income Initiative. And while the lack of safe, affordable housing is an issue facing many communities in this country, it is particularly devastating to New Orleans. Housing is essential to the city's recovery. Without permanent places to live, people cannot return to work, pay taxes, frequent local businesses, or send their children to school. United Way is committed to rebuilding New Orleans - and helping over 900 families rebuild their homes and take the next step toward as a first step toward financial stability and economic independence.

United Way's Disaster Response and Long-term Rebuilding

Disaster work is foundational to the United Way Worldwide mission of mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good. United Way is part of the community — there long before a catastrophe strikes and long after first responders have moved on. At United Way, we know that one's fate is tied to the fate of others and that all of society benefits from improvements in quality of life. Our success at preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters underpins our goals in education, income and health.

Numerous researchers have noted that the disaster rate has disproportionately affected poor and under-served populations. Accessing opportunities for a good life are not possible when basic survival is paramount. Populations most at risk of being unable to survive or appropriately recover from disaster include: persons vulnerable to economic stress and/or health issues and lack access to services prior to the disaster; persons with language or literacy barriers; minorities; the elderly, women and children; and those with physical and mental disabilities.

In 2010, five years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall, recovery is still a day-by-day process in many communities. United Ways continue to support the people of the Gulf Coast to rebuild their lives and achieve their potential. United Way has a unique role in assuring a comprehensive response to community crisis. Successfully preparing for, responding to and recovering from disasters supports United Way efforts to create long-term social change that produces healthy, well-educated and financially-stable individuals and families. In the wake of the most destructive hurricane season on record, United Ways demonstrated the LIVE UNITED spirit by providing needed funding to partner organizations and first-responders; supporting information and referral; convening public, private and nonprofit sectors to marshal resources; and coordinating volunteers.