Stabilizing individuals and families during times of crisis is absolutely critical in order for households to thrive. Providing basic human needs such as food, shelter and safety creates a solid platform from which all of our neighbors can focus on long term goals.

Food, shelter and safety—the basics for survival—are not things any person or family should have to struggle with, yet hunger, homelessness, gun violence and domestic abuse are acute problems that continue to destroy lives and potential. In our region:

  • More than 850,000 residents in Cook and DuPage counties are food insecure, meaning they don’t know where their next meal is coming from
  • Children under 18 made up 28% of the homeless in Cook county and 35% of the homeless in DuPage county
  • 400,000 people in Cook and DuPage counties have experienced domestic violence
  • More than 75% of the city’s homicide suspects are under the age of 30, putting added emphasis on the need for educational, after school and employment programs

United Way is working to build stronger neighborhoods across the region by fighting for:

Every person in every neighborhood to have access to healthy food, a safe place to live and shelter from violence so that everyone can thrive.