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Essentials

United Way of Southwest Alabama knows that individuals cannot succeed without life’s basic essentials. Research shows that the most basic needs must be met before individuals and families can tackle other life changes. To strengthen our community, United Way aspires to ensure that our citizens’ immediate and basic needs are met during times of crisis and personal challenge.

Priorities:
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Emergency Financial Assistance
  • Disaster Relief & Recovery

Why It Matters

20

of the population in Choctaw, Clarke, Mobile, and Washington counties experienced food insecurity at some point during 2016

20

of students in public school systems in our four-county coverage area are eligible to participate in the Free Lunch Program under the National School Lunch Program

20

of households in our service area has at least one of the following four problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen, or lack of plumbing facilities

What Is Working
  • 52,572 meals were served in 2016 to clients receiving shelter in Mobile and Washington counties (McKemie Place & Penelope House, Inc.)
  • More than 3.4 million pounds of food was distributed in 2016 in Clarke, Mobile, and Washington counties, equating to approximately 2,834,000 meals with a wholesale value of more than $5 million (Feeding the Gulf Coast)
  • 390 clients in Clarke County were provided financial help with electricity, water, and gas in 2016 at a cost of $20,188 (Catholic Social Services)
  • 84% of veterans in the Supportive Services for Veterans were able to maintain stable housing for at least nine months (Housing First, Inc.)
Essentials Collaborations

Emergency Food & Shelter Program
This program was created by Congress to help meet the needs of hungry and homeless people throughout the United States and its territories by allocating federal funds for the provision of food, shelter, and emergency assistance. In our service area, UWSWA serves as its fiscal manager and the program is governed by a local board. The most recent funding cycle brought a total of $216,924 back into Mobile and Washington counties to help people in need.

United Way 2-1-1
Since its creation in 2007, United Way 2-1-1 has been the nation’s premier referral resource for people who are seeking health and human services information. Locally, through a UWSWA partnership with Lifelines Counseling Services, trained and caring call specialists provide direct access to free and confidential referrals to community services for individuals seeking assistance. In 2016, United Way 2-1-1 continued to serve our communities by answering 6,333 calls and providing 9,793 referrals.

Get Help Now

Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
The Mobile County VOAD, of which UWSWA is a member, seeks to ensure the availability of resources and services and to encourage appropriate distribution during long-term disaster recovery, the extended period following a disaster during which agencies and organizations help affected persons after immediate needs are met.

Learn more about Hurricane Preparation and Recovery