Press Releases: April 14, 2022

United Way and Kinder Institute Announce Collaboration to Improve Financial Outcomes

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United Way of Greater Houston and Kinder Institute for Urban Research Announce Collaboration to Improve Financial Outcomes for Houstonians in Need

HOUSTON, TX (April 14, 2022) – Two major Houston nonprofits that focus on transformative community change today announce that they have established a formal research collaboration aimed at improving outcomes for the many financially struggling families and individuals in the Greater Houston area. As part of this agreement, United Way of Greater Houston and Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research will develop and share research aimed at deepening the community’s understanding of the challenges faced by the ALICE population (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and the impact of strategies aimed at helping this population improve financial stability and resilience. A research collaboration focused on family financial stability in the Greater Houston area is a first-of-its-kind for the region and presents opportunities to study barriers to success for this population as well as the impact of programs and support that hasn’t been studied locally.

The two organizations will determine research initiatives together, with all projects aligned with both organizations’ missions. Rice Kinder focuses on research that informs civic and political leaders as a catalyst for policy solutions. United Way seeks to improve the community by providing support services and removing barriers for struggling families and individuals on their journey to financial stability. In line with this, research efforts will focus on identifying policies that have the potential to address the root causes of financial instability for area households, and that can help those families better cope with the challenges they face. Rice Kinder will also use its expertise in data analysis to strengthen both organizations’ understanding of community needs, which will help inform United Way as it determines community investment priorities.

“For many years, we have benefited from the Kinder Institute’s expertise and leadership in finding solutions to critical issues in our city,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. “To have them join us in recognizing family financial stability as one of the complex issues affecting so many families in our community is powerful. United Way and the Kinder Institute have a long history of collaborative work. We’re excited to expand our partnership to deepen our collective understanding of neighbors who navigate financial struggles daily and identify transformative ways to help.”

The partnership announcement comes as United Way of Greater Houston prepares to celebrate 100 years of service to the community, which includes a new strategic vision that focuses on connecting struggling families and individuals with opportunities to achieve financial stability.

“As the Kinder Institute aims to have greater impact, we’re thrilled to partner with United Way to do research that informs the important work they do. We are mission-aligned and eager to maximize benefits to Houstonians in need, not only meeting their immediate needs but also bolstering their long-term well-being,” said Ruth N. López Turley, director of Rice University’s Houston Education Research Consortium and incoming executive director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

For more information on United Way of Greater Houston’s work, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org, and to learn more about the Kinder Institute, visit www.kinder.rice.edu.

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About United Way of Greater Houston​
For nearly 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to address the complex challenges holding people back. We are a driving force for good that connects our neighbors with opportunities to thrive. We help our neighbors achieve financial stability.  We provide services that support the physical and behavioral health of families and youth along with educational services that expand their skills and horizons.  We provide a safety net that catches the most vulnerable. We manage every donation with care to make the greatest impact across the four-county region of Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. We connect neighbors with help 24/7 through our 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. For more information, please visit, http://www.unitedwayhouston.org.