DID YOU KNOW there are more than 7,000 low-income FAMILIES living at 200% of poverty in Berkshire County?
That’s why Berkshire United Way’s goal is to reduce the percentage of Berkshire County families that are low-income (200% of poverty) from 24% (7,846) to under 20% (under 6,576) by 2020. To date, we’ve made an impact across the county, including:
Since Berkshire United Way began investing in the VITA program, millions in additional dollars have been returned to working families in Berkshire County.
- Investing in collaborative/integrated services. This holistic approach focuses on individuals and families achieving long-term financial success. Research shows people who receive bundled services are much more likely to earn a degree/certificate, find/keep a job, and improve their credit score.
And so much more. One family came to the Great Barrington VITA site, that Berkshire United Way funds, anxious and apprehensive as they had not filed a return in six years. They came hoping for a clean slate and the ability to assist their child in applying for financial aid. The dedicated and compassionate VITA volunteer spent 11 hours helping them achieve that goal. They walked away fearless and free of the worry that the IRS was going to penalize them, stating:
“We can stop looking over our shoulders waiting for the IRS to come to the door and now our child has a chance at an education and a future. Thank you so much for the peace of mind.”
If you have any questions or concerns, or are interested in giving your time, talent or gifts to the financial stability goal area, please contact Julie Singley, Coordinator of Research and Evaluation, at (413) 442-6948 x32.
"My financial coach helped me see possibilities and encouraged me through a job loss,
re-employment and even getting my taxes done. I learned how to use a computer. I feel so blessed to be able to manage things on my own and provide a home and stability to my family."
For a list of funded programs in Financial stability, click here.
In 2015, Berkshire United Way held an Employer Community Conversation, click here for more details and to view the full PowerPoint presentation.
Berkshire United Way Request for Proposal Funding
The 2016-2017 Request for Proposal for Financial Stability is now closed. Please check back in winter 2017.