What We Do

Central Ohio has recovered from the Great Recession and unemployment is the lowest it’s been in years. Yet the number of people in poverty is unprecedented. As a result, our community’s future growth is clearly at risk.

To address this critical situation, United Way’s Board of Trustees approved a plan to focus all of our work on reducing poverty. Since adopting that plan, we thoroughly reviewed the latest data and research on the root causes of poverty, and developed transformative approaches that offer the greatest potential for effectively reducing poverty.


  • LESS
  • MORE

Changing How We Reduce Poverty

Action for Children UWCO 2018 Investment $464,683
Organization Description:

Action for Children (AFC) has been the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) in Central Ohio since 1972. The agency delivers technical assistance and professional development to all types of early learning programs and professionals; parent referral, education, and coaching services; and leadership in support of quality early learning at the community level.


78 Jefferson Avenue (43215)





African American Leadership Academy UWCO 2018 Investment $NA*

The African American Leadership Academy is designed to expand the number of African American leaders in central Ohio who excel in their professions and engage in community service. The Academy enlarges the definition of success and redefines the description of leadership to include doing well at work to do more good in the community. To that end, it assembles a group of Fellows who have the likelihood of significant accomplishments in both of those arenas. The Academy selects individuals who are ready to grow and to engage in preparation for that kind of success and that kind of leadership.

Each year, the Academy’s Advisory Board along with current and past Fellows seek out and nominate individuals to be invited to apply to the Academy. These individuals, ages 25-55, represent the business, non-profit, government, education and entrepreneurial sectors of the central Ohio community. Nominees have demonstrated potential for top leadership roles in both their professional and civic life.

The Academy’s mission is to increase the number of central Ohio’s African American leaders and broaden its awareness of a wider pool of capable and civic minded African American professionals. Maximizing the potential and engagement of all social and economic sectors is essential to the greater purpose of building “best at” and “best to be in” businesses and communities.

For more informations on the African American Leadership Academy, visit their website http://aalacademy.org/.

* United Way of Central Ohio serves as a fiscal agent for this initiative.

Agency Emergency Assistance Fund UWCO 2018 Investment $25,000
Organization Description:

Fund for partners experiencing an unforeseen issue.

Alvis UWCO 2018 Investment $190,000
Organization Description:

The mission of Alvis is to innovate and deliver evidence-based human service programs that empower those we serve to build successful and productive lives. Our vision is that communities believe each person's potential is more important than their past. With over 50 years of experience, Alvis provides research-based reentry programs for individuals with criminal justice histories. We also serve people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who face challenges as they seek to live independently. At Alvis, we give people the inspiration, the encouragement, and the tools they need to turn their lives around 180 degrees.


2100 Stella Court (43215)





American Red Cross UWCO 2018 Investment $450,000
Organization Description:

Provides immediate disaster relief and planning, emergency communications for military families, health and safety education, international services and transportation for seniors and disabled individuals.


995 E. Broad Street (43205)



Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio UWCO 2018 Investment $310,000
Organization Description:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio helps children realize their potential and build their futures by providing meaningful, professionally supported relationships between children facing adversity and caring volunteer mentors.


1855 E. Dublin-Granville Rd. (43229)


614.839.2447/Toll free 866.892.2447

Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus UWCO 2018 Investment $245,000
Organization Description:

Affiliated with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the Clubs provide a comprehensive youth development and guidance after-school and extended summertime program for girls and boys, ages 6 to 18.


Administrative Offices West Side Unit - 115 S. Gift Street (43215) 221-8830/fax 221-1225 (admin) or 233-6842 (club) Milo-Grogan Unit, 1012 Cleveland Avenue (43201) 294-4366 EXTENSIONS Como Elementary Extension - 2989 Reis Avenue (43224) Heyl Elementary Extension - 760 Reinhard Avenue (43206) Highland Elementary Extension - 40 S. Highland Avenue (43223) Southmoor Middle School Extension - 1201 Moler Road (43207) Call 221-8830 for each extension listed above

Breathing Association, The UWCO 2018 Investment $TBD*
Organization Description:

We provide lung health education, detection and treatment through free clinics and outreach programs. We offer HEAP and PIPP to reduce barriers to good lung health, partnering with other agencies.


1520 Old Henderson Rd., Columbus, OH 43220



* Accountable payments based on achievement of outcomes.

Care Coordination Network UWCO 2018 Investment $1,087,427*
Delivering Results for Families, Providers, Funders and Communities

The new Franklin County Pathways Community HUB offers our community an integrated and comprehensive system that meets holistic needs of county residents in an efficient and organized manner. Using nationally-recognized pathways that help people take coordinated, step-by-step action toward set objectives, the HUB provides:

  • A single point of contact for individuals and families managing multiple needs,
  • Standard, organized pathways for information flow and funding,
  • Clear direction and efficiencies for all involved, and
  • Accountability for outcomes.
How it works:

Community care coordinators within various organizations work directly with individuals and families to determine their needs, identify the appropriate service pathways and follow up regularly to ensure milestones along each pathway are completed. The HUB’s standard, organized pathways for information flow and funding bring increased efficiency to the process. Providers receive payment for services once a milestone is reached. Having one consistent point of support for individuals and families pursuing multiple pathways builds the relationships and rapport needed to help people achieve a better quality of life.

For example:
  • A family with a preschooler receives an early learning checkup through Columbus Kids, which uncovers potential learning delays in the child.
  • A Columbus Kids care coordinator will help the family find the pathway for overcoming the learning delay, but will also work to discover other needs the family might have.
  • The father is unemployed and needs work skills to get a new job, so the coordinator starts him on a workforce development pathway.
  • The mother is pregnant and does not have a health care provider, so the coordinator gets her on a pathway to having a healthy baby.
  • The coordinator checks in regularly to make sure milestones along each pathway are completed.


A portion of funding for the Care Coordination Network is provided by the Ohio Commission on Minority Health.

* Committed Annual Funding

Catholic Social Services – Our Lady of Guadalupe Center UWCO 2018 Investment $15,000
Organization Description:

Catholic Social Services helps poor and vulnerable seniors, families, and individuals reach their potential. Our licensed and certified staff offer programs that serve clients regardless of faith or background.


197 E. Gay Street Columbus, OH 43215



Stay informed,
get connected.

We'll send you customized updates about our work, your impact, and more ways to connect.


Back to top