Because systemic community challenges are most often rooted in multiple causes, Metro United Way harnesses the power of donors, volunteers, thought leaders, experts, other nonprofits and government at all levels to ensure positive, sustainable change.

The measure of a community’s success doesn’t lie in those who already have opportunities to thrive, but in those still fighting for them.

We passionately believe in the humanity and potential of all and strive to unite our community behind that belief.

Why this work is important to our community’s success:

Louisville ranks 5th in the nation for concentrated poverty.

  • Out of 1,600 census tracks across our 17 peer cities, 2 of the 10 highest rates of poverty are census tracts in west Louisville.
  • Eviction rate is twice the national average.​​

Peer cities are excelling past us.

  • In health outcomes, we rank 16th out of 17 cities combining several measures of length and quality of life.
  • We rank 11th out of 17 cities in education among the working-age population. 
  • We’ve dropped from 5th in 2005 to 8th in 2018 in median earnings adjusted for inflation.

Sources: Greater Louisville ProjectBrookings Institute

Greater Louisville region lags peers in inclusivity.

  • Gaps between whites and people of color, and between advantaged and disadvantaged neighborhoods, have remained wide. 
  • Louisville ranks 46th out of 53 large cities in geographic inclusion and 30th for racial inclusion. 

The pandemic has only exacerbated need:

  • There were 17,000 disconnected youth (homeless, foster care, criminal justice system, or not employed or in school) in our community in December 2019. That number is well over 32,000 today.
  • 12,000 single-parent female heads of households with children were at immediate risk of homelessness pre-COVID.
  • Nearly 50% of students entering JCPS were are already behind before the pandemic and are at risk of falling further behind in a virtual environment, exacerbated by our community’s digital divide.

Sources: Greater Louisville ProjectBrookings Institute


  • More than 75% of Louisville’s Black population lives on less than 5% of the land.

  • The rate of homeownership for Black households in Louisville is 36% compared to 71% for White households. Home ownership = biggest factor in creating wealth.

  • 30% of Louisville’s Black households make less than $25,000. Louisville is short more than 31,000 units needed to affordably house community members with low-incomes.

  • Though only comprising 30% of the under-17 population, 77% of the children detained at the Jefferson County Youth Detention Center are Black. Youth in the juvenile justice system are at a much higher risk for suicide attempts.

  • COVID-19 effect: 57.6% of Black renting Kentuckians have slight to no confidence that they will be able to pay next month’s rent, compared to 26.1% of all Kentucky renters.

  • Though only 8% of Kentucky’s population, Black adults make up 22% of the state’s prison population.

  • White Americans have 11x more wealth than Black Americans.

  • Black individuals represent 14.2% of the US population but only 2.2% of businesses owned.

    If Black-owned businesses were equivalent to their representative size of the U.S. population, there would be 806,218 more Black-owned businesses.

  • Black-owned businesses have higher loan denial rates than white-owned businesses.

  • Sources:

    • “Louisville Metro Health Equity Report 2017”—Louisville Metro Center for Health Equity

    • “22,000 EQUITIES, Addressing Racial Gaps in Homeownership and Wealth: 2019 State of Metropolitan Housing Report” –Metropolitan Housing Coalition

    • Equity & Justice for All—Metro United Way,

Creating Pathways out of Poverty to Prosperity

  • Closing the
    Education Gap

    - Racial Equity
    - Geography/Place-Based
    - Early Care & Education
    - Community-Based Youth Supports
    - Public Policy Advocacy

  • Closing the
    Wealth Gap

    - Racial Equity
    - Geography/Place-Based
    - Home Ownership
    - Workforce Development
    - Public Policy Advocacy

Health & Basic Needs

Housing & Food Insecurity
Digital Access

Early Care & Education

Economic Mobility

Equity for All

Public Policy​

Policy makers are critical partners in promoting health, education, workforce development, and human services, so we actively engage, help educate, and advocate for good policy. And when you add your voice to our chorus, you make us that much louder and that much more effective.

Through our 2-1-1 call center and United Community we are meeting basic needs of kids and families in our community throughout our 7-county region.


Metro United Way is Meeting this Moment​ by

  • Shifting historic funding models.​

  • Connecting schools, hospitals, nonprofits, and government agencies through United Community.​

  • Focusing on black-led organizations in our target neighborhoods.​

  • Leading crucial equity conversations with partners and community leaders.

  • Attracting national attention with our innovative models and local support.

This past year...

  • 95% of kids in high quality early care and education through MUW-supported programs demonstrated progress.

  • More than 300,000 people were impacted by MUW-supported programs for the health and basic needs of individuals and families in our seven-county region.

  • We launched our Black L.O.V.E Philanthropic Partnership (BLPP) that empowers and invests in Black-led social change organizations. 19 nonprofits were included in our first round of investments.

  • 2,058 attended Beyond Buzzwords speaker series on diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Over 3,000 people participated in Racial Wealth Gap simulations

  • Children in MUW-supported high quality early care and education are 2x more likely to be prepared for kindergarten than their peers

  • Public Policy Wins

    See Wins
  • 74,578 people contacted MUW's 211 call center for emergency assistance and referral

  • 5,299 households avoided foreclosure, eviction or homelessness through rent and mortgage assistance

  • 12,989 people were sheltered by emergency and transitional housing services through MUW-supported programs

  • 2,057 individuals in homeless prevent programs; 77% made progress toward financial sufficiency

  • 8,120 people sought free tax assistance and MUW-supported programs helped return $8.9 million in refunds to them

  • 1,150 people sought skills development and training; 85% attained gainful employment

  • 52,902 people were helped with immediate needs through MUW-supported programs

Be part of creating a stronger community for all

Metro United Way is uniquely positioned to address the biggest needs in our community through data-driven collective action that uses a holistic model.

Consider a gift to Metro United Way today to invest in a stronger, more equitable future for all.


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