In Stark County, 1 in 5 children are living in poverty.

When our neighbors are unable to find jobs or unable to make enough money to provide for their basic needs, they are forced to make difficult decisions. A parent choosing between paying their water bill or buying food for dinner means a child will suffer with either decision.

When that same child goes to school with an empty stomach or without bathing, it becomes difficult to concentrate and succeed academically. And living in unstable household now, limits that child’s ability to thrive and build a stable household in the future — and the cycle of poverty continues.

When individuals and families in our community struggle, it impacts all of us. And when our neighbors succeed, our whole community succeeds.

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Addressing childhood
poverty in our community

United Way is dedicated to helping and supporting families and children in need. Along with our Investment Priorities, we recognize that child poverty is an issue that cannot be ignored in our community, and community resources must be aligned to address this urgent crisis. Nearly one out of every four children in Stark County live in households below the poverty level.


Building Success in Our Community

By leading in the development of solutions to critical social issues in the areas of health, education, and financial stability, we can make a lasting impact on our region. United Way of Greater Stark County has identified four areas which require the most attention in our area. Stark and Carroll Counties will thrive when we prioritize childhood success, youth success, access to health and economic mobility.

These four priorities will help slow the cycle of poverty and build a strong foundation for a stable household. The priorities were developed with input from a community assessment and survey, consultation with local subject matter experts and through a framework of United Way Worldwide’s investments.

With your help, we can create sustainable change and build a stronger community, where every person in Stark and Carroll County is able to thrive.

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Doctor and patient smiling


Access to Health

We envision a community where every individual and family has access to healthcare and works to improve their health.

We are creating healthy systems and environments to promote healthy lifestyles for all ages.

  • Increase health insurance and health care access
  • Improve access to healthy food and nutrition programs
  • Provide information and resources for prenatal care
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Childhood Success

We envision a community where all children enter school ready and are successful in primary school.

This means ensuring children ages zero to eight have the support and tools they need to promote early development, a smooth transition to kindergarten and success in elementary school.

  • Promote parent engagement
  • Access to quality pre-kindergarten schooling and education
  • Increase literacy support

Youth Success

We envision a community where our youth gain the knowledge, skills and credentials to obtain family-sustaining employment.

This will require increased efforts to support in-school youth from elementary through post-secondary education. We’re focused on helping students, ages nine through 21, gain knowledge and experience to succeed in the workplace.

  • Provide mentoring programs
  • Increase tutoring opportunities
  • Increase literacy support
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Student raising hand
Student raising hand


Economic Mobility

We envision a community where all individuals and families can improve their socio-economic status.

  • Create financial stability for at-risk populations
  • Focus on attaining, retaining, and promotion opportunities in jobs for at-risk populations

Basic Housing Needs

Meeting the basic housing needs of community members remains of great concern to United Way. Funding has been set aside to support currently funded providers of those programs, i.e. homeless and domestic violence shelters, utility assistance and rent/mortgage payment. Available funding is contingent upon the annual fundraising campaign.

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Addressing the struggle of hardworking families

The ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) population lives, works, and pays taxes, in every community but still can’t make ends meet. The ALICE population includes child care workers, mechanics, home health aides, office assistants and more – workers essential to the success of all our communities. They earn more than the Federal Poverty Level but not enough to afford the basic cost of living. ALICE’s struggles affect not just single households, but whole communities because the success of a community is directly related to the financial stability of its members.

Far too many hardworking households face impossible decisions like whether to pay rent or buy groceries. 38,491 households in Stark and Carroll County struggle to make these decisions. United Way is helping to shine a light on the financial instability that exists in our community so we can all have informed discussions as we work to find solutions.

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