CHICAGO--()--United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) is unveiling its new groundbreaking social services model that marshals and integrates education, income and health resources within a community to achieve maximum impact so kids stay on track for graduation, people have jobs and families access quality health care. Called LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network, the model concentrates resources for children and parents around a physical hub, often at a school, bringing more programs and services to more people to address the socioeconomic challenges our communities are facing.
“The LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network provides enhanced access to support services by maximizing the effectiveness of our strategic partnerships with corporations, government and civic leaders, volunteers and other nonprofit organizations to create practical solutions to our communities’ most pressing issues.”
“Healthy communities aren’t about one social service program or even a group of programs working in isolation,” said Wendy DuBoe, president and chief executive officer at UWMC. “Helping a child succeed in school, or a family achieve financial stability, or an individual access health services, are not disconnected ambitions. They are part of a broader community agenda that is best addressed through a unified vision and coordinated action. This is what United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network is all about.”
Within each LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network, a lead agency partner in the community will be chosen by United Way to facilitate day-to-day coordination. United Way will provide close management oversight as well as capacity-enhancing resources, including financial support, strategic guidance, issue advocacy, a volunteer network and access to corporate partners.
Brighton Park has been chosen as the first LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network. As the fastest-growing neighborhood in Chicago, Brighton Park is home to a large proportion of Latino families. United Way is investing in Brighton Park to increase the availability and access to education, income and health services to help residents and the community reach its goals. UWMC will work in close collaboration with its lead partner, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, which will operate social service hubs within three middle schools providing after-school academic programs, tax assistance, health services and more.
“We are proud to be chosen as the lead agency partner for the LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network in Brighton Park,” said Patrick Brosnan, executive director at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. “As the local community partner, we are encouraged by the infusion of resources from United Way to help us reach measurable results.”
The LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network includes a variety of services focused on education, income and health. The parent mentor program will have parents inside the three schools to provide in-class assistance to teachers and students while earning a stipend. For income resources, individuals and families have access to free assistance filing their federal income tax. The health promoters program will ensure healthy food options are available, parents are educated on healthy eating and exercise, and students have ample opportunity for physical activity. Educational services include after-school programs such as tutoring and mentoring, as well as school-based counseling for students and their families.
“When children and families have the support services they need in the areas of education, income and health, a community can thrive and tackle the issues it is facing,” said Dr. Richard Jones, senior vice president of community investment at United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. “The LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network provides enhanced access to support services by maximizing the effectiveness of our strategic partnerships with corporations, government and civic leaders, volunteers and other nonprofit organizations to create practical solutions to our communities’ most pressing issues.”
The LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network is the full realization of LIVE UNITED 2020, United Way’s community-impact plan launched in 2009. A departure from the traditional program-funding model, LIVE UNITED 2020 focuses on creating social change through targeted interventions in education, income and health – the building blocks to self-sufficiency – in more than 40 communities of greatest need. The LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network builds on this strategy by taking a holistic approach in outreach and service delivery to residents across all three areas of education, income and health. Plans for additional LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Networks throughout the region are in development. The community-impact plan is made possible in large part by United Way’s corporate partners that donate to our general fund supporting over 40 communities across our six-county footprint, as well as those companies making targeted investments. This week, Chicago-based financial services firm, Mesirow Financial, committed significant financial and volunteer resources to specifically support the parent mentor program in the Brighton Park LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network.
UWMC is committed to helping 50,000 underperforming middle school students enter high school ready to succeed, advancing economic stability for 100,000 households, connecting over 200,000 people with available, preventative health services and answering the immediate crisis needs of one million people annually.
UWMC is holding a community celebration at Shields Middle School on Thursday, March 21, at 10 a.m., to highlight the partners, programs and participants involved in the inaugural LIVE UNITED Neighborhood Network in Brighton Park. Attendees and speakers include Wendy DuBoe, president and chief executive officer at UWMC, Stacey Stewart, U.S. president at United Way Worldwide, Patrick Brosnan, executive director at Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Jesus Garcia, Cook County Commissioner - 7th District, Peter Auffant, Principal at Shields Middle School, UWMC board member and civic leader Tim Maloney, Illinois president at Bank of America and school principals, program participants, among many others.
United Way advances the common good, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on the three key building blocks for strong families and healthy communities: Education, Income and Health. LIVE UNITED 2020 is United Way of Metropolitan Chicago’s community-impact plan, focused on channeling education, income and health resources into more than 40 communities of greatest need. By 2020, United Way will: help 50,000 underperforming middle school students enter high school ready to succeed, advance economic stability for 100,000 households and connect over 200,000 individuals with available, preventative healthcare. Annually, LIVE UNITED 2020 will provide one million individuals with access to crisis services including emergency food, shelter and protection from violence. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.