Ann Arbor Nonprofits Launch Financial Security Program for Washtenaw County Families

ANN ARBOR – United Way of Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation are partnering with UpTogether to help Washtenaw County families deal with financial insecurity.

UpTogether is an anti-poverty non-profit organization that provides families with funds and an online platform to share resources, support and connect with others to overcome their financial difficulties.

Over the next two years, UWWC and AAACF plan to serve approximately 45 families. To identify families in need of this resource, they partner with the following local nonprofits:

  • Help in Milan

  • Buenos Vecinos

  • Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach

  • faith in action

  • Manchester Community Resource Center

  • Mentor2Youth

  • Success by Six Great Start Collaborative Trusted Advisors

“Through our COVID-19 relief efforts, our organizations have seen the power of mutual aid in the form of cash assistance to families,” said UWWC President and CEO Pam Smith. , in a press release. “UpTogether members work side by side to build social capital, financial literacy, as they use their cash investments to manage their individual household needs.

“We feel the urgency to pilot a permanent solution to the continued financial insecurity experienced by Washtenaw County families as 31% of Washtenaw County residents struggle to meet their basic needs. We have to do something radically different to change these community conditions.

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“We were compelled to partner with UpTogether because of the significant longitudinal data they have compiled over the past 18 years, which demonstrates that prior to COVID-19, on average, families who engaged with UpTogether for two years have seen annual income increases of 21%, the government grant is reduced by 42% and savings are increased fourfold, along with a greater sense of community and self-esteem,” said Shannon Polk, president and CEO of the AAACF, in a statement.

The two-year pilot program will launch in Washtenaw County in May.

Families selected to participate in the program will receive quarterly payments of $625.

“We are excited about the opportunity to launch UpTogether in Washtenaw County,” Tiarra Comer, associate director of partnerships for UpTogether, said in a statement. “It’s a great opportunity to trust and invest in families while giving them another way to build community.”

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