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Safety Net Old: Together We Can Change The Story

Our Results*

individuals received a meal or food from a pantry
million people in crisis received assistance
people were provided with housing or assistance to stay in their home

* Cumulative data from FY 2011-2016. Not all unique individuals.

Safety Net

Our Strategy


Answer the crisis needs of approximately 1 million people every year by providing food, shelter and freedom from violence

Learn More

In six years, United Way of Metropolitan Chicago provided safety net services for more than 5 million people in crisis across our six-county region.

Food Drive

The Facts

Too many individuals in our region do not have resources to meet their most basic needs. A slow recovery from the recession, high unemployment and a shortage of affordable housing all contribute to people struggling for stability.

  • In Cook and DuPage Counties, more than 850,000 residents are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from
  • In Cook and DuPage Counties, there are 29,650 homeless school children
  • In Cook and DuPage Counties, 400,000 people have experienced domestic violence

What We're Doing

United Way invests in programs and partnerships that help stabilize families and individuals who are encountering some of the most critical challenges they will ever face. Basic needs programs include homeless shelters, transitional housing, disaster recovery, food pantries, meal programs, domestic violence assistance and legal aid.

Food Pantry

In our experience, no one agency or program can help guide people from crisis to stability. Our role as funder and coordinator allows us to provide a network of services that directly meet people’s basic needs through practical partnerships with nonprofit agencies, businesses, government agencies and human service organizations.

Partner Agency Investments

In 2015, United Way invested more than $6 million in 64 agencies across the region that provide quality basic needs services and crisis support to residents in need. Through these programs and partnerships, we have made steady progress toward our goal.

  • 360 Youth Services
  • Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago
  • Aging Care Connections
  • AIDS Legal Council of Chicago
  • American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois
  • Apna Ghar, Inc. (Our Home)
  • Arab American Family Services
  • BEDS Plus Care, Inc.
  • Breakthrough Urban Ministries
  • Bridge Communities, Inc.
  • Cabrini Green Legal Aid
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
  • Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
  • Children’s Advocacy Center of North and Northwest Cook County
  • Chinese American Service League
  • Connections for Abused Women and their Children
  • Connections for the Homeless Crisis Center for South Suburbia Deborah’s Place
  • DuPage PADS
  • DuPage Senior Citizens Council
  • Esperanza Health Centers
  • Family Rescue
  • Family Shelter Service, Inc.
  • Ford Heights Community Service Organization, Inc.
  • Hamdard Center for Health and Human Services HCS Family Services
  • Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
  • Housing Opportunities for Women Inspiration Corporation
  • Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago La Casa Norte
  • LAF
  • Lakeview Pantry
  • Lawrence Hall Youth Services
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing Life Span
  • Loaves & Fishes Community Services
  • Metropolitan Family Services
  • Mujeres Latinas en Accion
  • Neopolitan Lighthouse
  • Northwest CASA
  • Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry People’s Resource Center
  • Pillars
  • PLOWS Council on Aging
  • Prairie State Legal Services
  • Primo Center for Women and Children Respond Now
  • Salvation Army, The
  • Sarah’s Inn
  • Shelter, Inc.
  • South Suburban Family Shelter, Inc. South Suburban PADS
  • Southwest Chicago PADS
  • Teen Living Programs
  • Together We Cope
  • West Suburban PADS
  • WINGS Program, Inc.
  • World Relief
  • Youth Outreach Services
  • YWCA Evanston/North Shore
  • YWCA Metropolitan Chicago