We conduct needs assessment throughout our community. We gather data on poverty, financial hardship, basic needs gaps, resilience and more. And, we use this data to inform our efforts.
In Central Oregon, nearly 11,000 households live below the federal poverty level. Another nearly 24,000 are ALICE families. ALICE households earn incomes above the federal poverty level, but less than what it takes to survive in our economy.That’s 35,000 of our 88,000 households in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties.
That’s 35,000 of Central Oregon’s 88,000 households, which is 40% of Central Oregon households overall. We found this out through a report that we recently commissioned along with other Untied Ways in the Pacific Northwest. The report is called “ALICE,” which stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.”
ALICE includes our friends, family, neighbors, children’s friends, educators, child care workers, healthcare workers, restaurant employees, and store clerks – men and women who work at lower-paying jobs, have little or no savings, and are one emergency away from poverty. These are people who are working hard, sometimes more than one job, but often still cannot make ends meet and are living on the edge.
United Way at Deschutes County is a proud member of the Homeless Leadership Coalition!
Each year, the Homeless Leadership Coalition conducts the Point-In-Time Homeless Count: a one-day count of people who are experiencing homelessness or are residing in transitional housing in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties. This count is a part of a state and national effort to identify the number of people struggling to find appropriate, adequate, affordable housing.
The 2019 Count took place January 23 – 25, 2019 at various sites throughout Central Oregon.
These environments include poverty, lack of affordable and safe housing, limited access to healthcare, lack of quality or affordable child care, community violence, ineffective education, systemic discrimination, and lack of opportunity, economic mobility, and social capital.
There is a relationship between adversity within a family and adversity within a community. Adverse Community Environments contribute to Adverse Childhood Experiences. That’s why we refer to Adverse Childhood Experiences (aka ACEs) and Adverse Community Environments (aka ACEs) as the “Pair of ACEs.”
United Way of Deschutes County is operating at multiple levels and scales, at the individual and community level to address the “Pair of ACEs.”
It’s a credo. A mission. A goal. A constant reminder that when we reach out a hand to one, we influence the condition of all. We build the strength of our neighborhoods. We bolster the health of our communities. And we change the lives of those who walk by us every day.