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As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and education and currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits. 

What’s the problem?

  • Right here in the Bluegrass, 21,485 children live in poverty – enough to fill Whitaker Bank Ballpark three times!

  • 81,534 local adults live in poverty – enough to fill Rupp Arena three and a half times!

  • 1-in-5 families in Central Kentucky doesn’t make enough money to be self-sufficient.

  • Almost 74,000 people in Central Kentucky, or 12 percent of the population, are on food stamps.

  • Nearly 4,000 households receive subsidized housing in FayetteCounty alone.

  • Kentucky ranks 48th in the nation in poverty rate, 43rd in bankruptcy rate, and 39th in net worth.

  • 45% of renters in Central Kentucky are unable to afford Fair Market Rent.


What’s the affect on our community?

  • Low-income workers spend an average of $150—$300 in basic tax preparation fees that could be used for their families and spent in our community.

  • The IRS estimates that 25% of those who could claim the EITC aren’t doing so, resulting in over $22 million in FayetteCounty alone. These are dollars that could be used by hardworking families and spent in local stores, boosting our local economy.

  • Local, state and federal programs spend millions of dollars each year to combat poverty and provide assistance to those in need.


United Way is helping families:

  • Increase the money they have,

  • Manage and save it well, and

  • Obtain significant assets that will help with long-term financial security.

For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way is here to help. To address the obstacles that prevent hard working families from getting ahead financially, we make certain community-change strategies are in place to help families meet their basic needs while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals. 

We are committed to helping individuals and families in our community achieve financial stability. By bringing together community partners, we help lower-income individuals and families achieve financial independence by providing the skills necessary to maximize their income, build savings and gain assets.

United Way provides both an immediate response by expanding the availability of emergency basic needs (food, heat, shelter) in our community and providing seamless access to additional services through 2-1-1. United Way also supports long-term recovery of families through increasing household income; obtaining job skills; providing financial education; gaining, sustaining and protecting assets; and attaining financial independence.

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How You Can Help

Volunteers make United Ways’ tax assistance and financial education programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have an accounting background. Volunteer to help.

Give to support our work in financial stability.