2023 Finalist - Metro United Way

Southern Indiana Housing Pilot

Executive Summary

Metro United Way (MUW) fights for the education, financial stability, and health of every person in our community. Metro United Way has united and empowered communities by investing in the full potential of individuals and families to ensure positive, sustainable change. We use data-driven insights to identify our community’s greatest needs and address systemic challenges, focusing on advancing equity and sharing opportunities for all.

To improve lives and our community, we are focusing on three priorities:

  • Thriving Kids: There’s nothing more important than ensuring our community’s children have what they need to thrive. Whether it’s space in a high-quality preschool or opportunities to engage in activities outside of the classroom, we work to ensure that starting at birth, kids and families have the tools and resources to succeed in school and life, helping them not only survive but thrive.
  • Equitable Communities: We envision our community as a place where zip code doesn’t determine destiny and everyone has the opportunity to live up to their full potential. But the realities are that there are inequities and disparities all around us in educational attainment, occupational opportunity, employment, wages, home ownership, gender, race and ethnicity, access to healthy environments, and more.
  • Strong Households: When we have strong households, we create pathways from poverty to prosperity, which is a win for all of us. This builds a strong community and ensures we meet needs, provide opportunities, and build futures for everyone in every neighborhood.

One of the first steps to ensuring we have thriving kids, equitable communities, and strong households is making sure individuals and families have secure, safe, and stable housing. In 2022, Metro United Way launched our collaborative Housing Pilot Program to address our Southern Indiana communities’ increasing housing and shelter needs. In partnership with the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, other local service providers, professionals, and financial institutions, we focused on moving individuals and families along the financial stability spectrum towards home ownership and housing stability.  

While we have seen great success throughout the pilot, with one family successfully purchasing their own home and five families having been pre-approved and actively shopping for their home, we were not meeting the needs of others. During the pilot, we identified the need to expand our program to meet the needs of the families and individuals who already owned their own homes in need of necessary repairs but were also facing a financial crisis—forcing them to make impossible choices each day due to financial constraints. 

With Impact 100’s support, MUW will address the housing crisis in Clark, Floyd, and Harrison County by continuing and expanding our Housing Pilot Program to ensure individuals and families obtain or maintain safe and stable housing. This program will focus on (1) moving families toward home ownership by removing barriers to purchasing a home and (2) improving the living conditions for low-income working homeowners in our community experiencing safety or repair concerns that negatively impact their quality of life. By providing secure and safe housing for families, the impact yields a multitude of benefits for our Southern Indiana community, including stronger physical, mental, and financial outcomes for children, youth, and adults, affecting multiple generation’s ability to thrive.