About My City: Des Moines
2014 indicates that approximately 192,000 central Iowans (34.7% of the total population of Polk, Dallas, and Warren counties) do not earn enough to be self-sufficient and 62,471 live below 100% of poverty. For a family of 2, living below 100% of poverty means you earn less than $16,337 annually. In order to be self-sufficient, a family of 2 needs to earn $40,050 annually. Of those living below 100% of poverty, 31,083 are children under 18 years old. The overall goal of OpportUNITY is to increase the percentage of people who are financially self-sufficient from 64.7% in 2013 to 75% in 2020. (American Community Survey Poverty Thresholds, (ACS), 2013)
About My Organization: United Way of Central Iowa
Since 1917, United Way of Central Iowa has brought together individuals and organizations from every corner of central Iowa to create and implement initiatives focused on producing real results in the areas of education, income and health. Many think of United Way as simply an organization that provides funds to other nonprofits, but we have evolved beyond that to a very different organization. United Way of Central Iowa is a "Collective Impact" organization. Our real power comes from bringing together local nonprofits, businesses, elected officials and community leaders to collaborate and implement solutions to some of our community's most pervasive challenges.
My Collaborative: OpportUNITY Community Plan
In June 2014, over 100 community members came together to learn about the great attributes and challenges of our community and the concerns people have about poverty. The group represented four sectors in equal numbers: business leaders and philanthropists, government and school leaders, non-profit and faith leaders, and community members who have lived with the stresses of poverty. The lived experience group included single parents, low-wage and low-skilled workers, immigrants and refugees, young people and those burdened with too much debt.