Basic Needs

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Helping people meet their BASIC NEEDS for food,

shelter & safety

The ability to meet basic needs is one of the building blocks for a good life. As members of a community, we are all connected. When one person suffers, we all suffer. At the same time, when one hungry family eats well, when a homeless person finds shelter or when one individual experiencing domestic violence finds hope, everyone benefits. United Way helps people overcome life's challenges and meet their basic needs so they are prepared to take advantage of education, job training, counseling and other resources that set them on a permanent path to a better life.

Strategic Initiatives

United Way leads strategic initiatives that bring partners together to tackle some of the most stubborn and complex social issues affecting individuals and communities in the Greater Capital Region. These are issues that have multiple causes and defy quick-fix solutions. United Way looks at the big picture and the whole person. With our donors, volunteers and partner organizations, United Way coordinates effort around clear goals. The result is lasting change that improves lives and community conditions today and for generations. Our initiatives in the area of BASIC NEEDS are:

United Against Hunger

United Against Hunger is a United Way initiative to reduce hunger across the Greater Capital Region seeking to solve immediate hunger as well as build the structure to prevent hunger in the future. We work with community partners to feed at-risk children during the summer when they do not have access to free and reduced price school meals. Additionally, we support collaborations of food providers to increase access to healthy food and nutrition education.   Learn more about United Against Hunger.

United Way 2-1-1

United Way 2-1-1 Northeast Region is a free information and referral service that connects people with questions about food, housing, health and other essential services to resources in the community. Individuals can access 2-1-1 by dialing three simple digits, 2-1-1, or by visiting 2-1-1 helps people cut through what can be a confusing maze of information and resources. Trained information and referral specialists help people assess their needs and find resources to help them overcome life's challenges. Learn more about United Way 2-1-1.

Family & Neighborhood Resource Centers

United Way of the Greater Capital Region supports Family and Neighborhood Resource Centers as part of its strategy to provide long-term solutions to the strains placed on local families. The centers serve as one-stop locations where families have access to a network of coordinated services including pre-natal parent education, early learning tools, budgeting assistance, prevention programs and much more. United Way funds and oversees five Family and Neighborhood Resource Centers, located in each of the counties we serve. Learn more about Family and Neighborhood Resource Centers.

Community Investments

Domestic Safety Focus Area

United Way invests in programs that help individuals live free from abuse, neglect and fear. More than 5,000 arrests related to domestic violence occur each year in the Capital Region. Many other incidents go unreported. United Way makes a difference by making grants to domestic safety programs that help individuals who experience domestic violence to start on a path of hope and healing.

Food Security & Nutrition Focus Area

United Way invests in programs that make sure people have reliable access to affordable and sufficient food and nutrition. 13% of Capital Region households struggle to balance the purchase of food with the fixed costs of housing, medicine and childcare. United Way makes a difference by making grants to food security and nutrition programs so more families can eat well today and provide for themselves long into the future. 

Housing Stability Focus Area

United Way invests in programs that make sure people have safe, permanent and affordable housing. In an average year, there are 2,500 homeless in the Capital Region, plus an additional 13,000 who seek assistance from homeless service agencies. This includes families. United Way makes a difference by making grants to housing stability programs so that people can gain the health, security and well-being of living in a secure home.

"I worried about my life, that I would survive..." Watch two women's journeys from abuse to freedom and hope thanks to the support they received from the Domestic Violence Program at the YWCA Northeastern New York.

Your donation today will help more Capital Region individuals and families meet their basic needs for food, shelter and safety.