Financial Stability

United Way of Southwest Alabama / Our Work  / Our Focus / Financial Stability

United Way of Southwest Alabama, working with partners from all sectors of society, connects people to the resources they need to get on more solid financial ground. When people are able to find decent jobs, provide for their families, and save for the future, they and their children are more likely to enjoy healthy lives and succeed in school. The result is thriving communities where everyone has more opportunity to succeed.

  • Workforce Development
  • Financial Literacy & Planning
  • Non-Emergency Income Support

Why It Matters


of people under the age of 18 in our four-county coverage area are living below the federal poverty line


of lower-income households, those with annual incomes below $30,000, are unbanked and nearly one in four are underbanked


of people 16 years and over are unemployed as a percent of the labor force in our four-county coverage area

What Is Working
  • 1,160 unduplicated individuals received counseling on personal financial issues and needs in 2019 (Lifelines Counseling Services)
  • 113 individuals with developmental disabilities were served in the Job Ready Program, which helps them develop living skills and job readiness (Mobile Arc)
  • 284 individuals enrolled in the Employment & Training program that helps build skills, training, and experience to improve employment prospects and reduce their reliance on public assistance (Goodwill Industries / Easter Seals of the Gulf Coast, Inc.)
  • 50% of families served improved their financial skills in 2019 (Family Promise of Coastal Alabama)
Financial Stability Collaborations

Bank On South Alabama
UWSWA is a founding community partner and steering committee member of Bank On South Alabama, which was launched in 2014. Bank On South Alabama is a collaboration of financial institutions and community organizations in eight counties in South Alabama that are working to reduce the number of people who do not have checking or savings accounts – the “underbanked” and “unbanked.”

In 2016, 56 workshops were held for 652 community members looking to increase their financial education and stability.

Learn more

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program
The VITA program provides communities with free federal and state e-filing assistance. VITA partners with community organizations, such as UWSWA, to recruit and train volunteers to assist individuals with tax preparation and to educate tax payers about tax credits for which they may qualify.

UWSWA also serves as lead for the South Alabama Free E-Filing (SAFE) Coalition, a group of agencies delivering VITA filing assistance. During the 2020 tax season, the SAFE Coalition filed more than 2,385 tax returns, which resulted in $3,407,673.00 returned to the community through tax refunds and tax credits.

During the 2020 tax season, UWSWA completed more than 822 tax returns, allowing for $898,677.00 in refunds.

Learn more about the free tax preparation opportunities and eligibility requirements

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