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Addressing Basic Needs

Basic Needs 1.jpg A Compassionate Network of Services

Metro United Way supports people’s most basic needs of food, shelter, health and safety in our community, as we have for over 95 years. Our vision is a community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives; to reach this goal, one of our Community Aspirations is to sustain a network of services that address basic and core needs throughout our community.

Basic needs services are vital to individuals with chronic conditions and for individuals and families in crisis needing temporary support. Vulnerable populations in particular face a variety of challenges, and mental health and elderly issues among our population are substantial enough that they affect the overall success and wellbeing of everyone in our community.


When individuals are unable to meet their immediate needs, it is more difficult to focus on long-term goals. Those goals may include employment, housing, or education. Basic needs services are critical to getting people back on their feet and on the road to self-reliance.


Metro United Way has seen how interconnected we all are in our community, and we know that the ultimate measure of our success is in the ways we impact the quality of life for all of us.

In part, serving core and basic needs includes:

•    Supporting services that provide emergency food, shelter, safety, and healthcare.
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Serving the community by providing access to information & referral through our 2-1-1 service.
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Responding to individuals adversely affected by disaster.
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Other services that help ensure everyone has the opportunity for a better life.


Supporting services that provide emergency food, shelter, safety, and healthcare.

We know that no individual can thrive without emergency food, shelter, safety, or healthcare. As a community, we face a number of sobering statistics: local unemployment hovers around 8% and the number of homeless children in Jefferson County Public Schools, using a broader definition of homeless that includes families who are doubled up, trends upward each year. In addition, 1 in 6 individuals in our community are in need of food assistance and 1 in 5 children in our area face hunger every day.

By working with our community partners, Metro United Way has a long history of ensuring that services are available in times of personal crisis.

Serving the community by providing access to information & referral through our 2-1-1 service.

Metro United Way 2-1-1 is a single number to call when you don’t know who to call. 2-1-1 is a help referal line that directs people looking for resources to help them face life challenges, often for the first time, to the appropriate service provider. Information specialists field calls from people who have lost their jobs, who are uninsured, or who face foreclosures on their homes – among others. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2012, our call center handled over 60,000 calls and averages over 130 calls each day. Find more information and access our online database here.




Disaster Relief Metro United WayResponding to individuals adversely affected by disaster.

When disaster strikes, such as a house fire, flood, or a tornado, people face an immediate crisis and then a long-term recovery process. Metro United Way has committed itself to being a leader in engaging volunteers to help meet these needs, and works in coordination with funded partners such as the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army to ensure people have safe shelter, food, clothing, and access to supports to get them back on their feet. As part of the recovery efforts for the 2012 Henryville tornado in Southern Indiana, Metro United Way mobilized over 12,700 volunteers to respond to those who were affected. The volunteers logged over 130,000 hours helping the community recover.




Basic Needs 3Other services that help ensure everyone has the opportunity for a better life.

A community of connected people – all people – united and working together for the benefit of all is at the heart of what Metro United Way represents. For nearly 100 years, Metro United Way has worked to advance the common good in our community by creating opportunities for a better life for all; we do this by recruiting the people and organizations who bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done.

Today, we work with dozens of other agencies, hundreds of companies and thousands of citizens all across our community. We partner with influential community leaders such as Metro Government and Jefferson County Public Schools as well as invest funds in over 70 service organizations working to improve the quality of lives for everyone in our community. Over 82,000 people volunteered through Metro United Way in the past year, giving over 435,873 hours of service to our community that represents over $9 million in donated time. See the list of Metro United Way's Funded Investment Partners here.



Metro United Way serves the counties of Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham and Shelby in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison in Indiana.
Our Mission: Improve lives and our community by engaging people to give, advocate and volunteer.
Our Vision: A community whose people achieve their fullest potential through education, financial stability and healthy lives.