Community Programs & Impact Initiatives

In addition to supporting a strong network of quality agencies, United Way believes in creating solutions for our community’s most pressing needs through public and private partnerships to transform the region on an individual, agency and community level. 

Each year, millions of dollars are invested into these innovative programs and initiatives to empower people to gain independence, improve their health and advance their economic footing.

Representatives from a window company meet with a 100 Neediest Cases' recipient in front of their home.

100 Neediest Cases

For more than a century, the 100 Neediest Cases program has been helping thousands of families and individuals during the holidays throughout the St. Louis region. In 2022, the 100 Neediest Cases program raised $1.6 million, helping over 11,000 individuals locally. Through a partnership with United Way of Greater St. Louis and the St. Louis Post Dispatch, 100% of the funds raised went directly to the clients. Those donations purchased holiday dinners, clothing, household goods, medication, and helped many families meet their basic needs.

A young child eats at a table

Emergency Food and Shelter (EFSP)

Our United Way serves as the local administrator for 6 counties to administer these federally authorized funds which are awarded through local EFSP boards in funded jurisdictions.  Program funds are used to provide the following:

  • Food, in the form of served meals or groceries
  • Lodging in a mass shelter or hotel/motel.
  • Rent or mortgage payment(s), up to 90 days.
  • Utility bill(s), up to 90 days.
  • Equipment necessary to feed or shelter people, up to a $300 limit per item.
Child guesses how much an item costs at Money Smart Month's Zoo Safari.

Money Smart Month

In partnership with the St. Louis Regional Financial Empowerment Coalition, Money Smart Month features hundreds of free classes to kids and adults on money management, setting financial goals, saving for retirement and college, buying a home, relieving debt, building credit, and avoiding identity theft.

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The Community Information Exchange (CIE)

The St. Louis Community Information Exchange (CIE) is a network of regional partners focused on improving the health and well-being of residents and neighbors in the metro St. Louis region by transforming the delivery of programs and direct service offerings. Using a shared technology platform CIE’s network of major health systems, community-based organizations, schools and more are able to share client information and virtually coordinate efforts to maximize resources in the delivery of holistic, person-centered care — moving families from crisis to long-term stability.

Child and mother play

United For Families

United Way’s United for Families stability and economic empowerment initiative is a 2-generation whole-family approach to restore families to self-sufficiency and ensure kids stay in school. Case Managers work with families to address crisis gaps which can destabilize the family, link resources to address unmet social determinants of health needs and move individuals and families from crisis to thriving.

With an emphasis on case management, flexible assistance and client accountability, support and resources help families implement new strategies to stabilize housing, keep children in their home schools, achieve better pay or positions and have basic needs met, preserving the family and creating long-term, lasting success.

United for Families currently serves up to 500 families per year in St. Louis City and St.Louis County in Missouri and St. Clair and Madison County in Illinois and is recognized as a national best-practice based on the Siemer Institute for Family Stability model, which is active in 53 cities across the United States.

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United Way 2-1-1

Whether you’re an individual looking for help for your family, a non-profit seeking better ways to serve your clients, or an organization searching for how to create a better region – United Way 2-1-1 is here to help by connecting more than 100k individuals annually to programs, disaster services, resources and possibilities 24/7 across Missouri and southern Illinois.

With a database of thousands of non-profits throughout Missouri and Illinois, 2-1-1 is the leader in helping people find resources and serves as a barometer of community need via its 211counts dashboard created in conjunction with Washington University’s Health Communication Research Laboratory.