Our Second Century Vision

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For almost 100 years, United Way of Greater Houston has brought together diverse partners and approaches to get to the root of complex challenges holding people back. Our vision for our second century of service is to create the opportunity for individuals and families in the Greater Houston community to thrive. We will do this by leading, serving, influencing, and convening the nonprofit social services sector to deliver quality services with exceptional outcomes.

Guided by research and data, United Way will focus on and invest in high-quality programs focused on serving ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and those living below the Federal Poverty Level, a group which makes up 47% of our population in the Greater Houston Area in 2018, an increase from 40% in 2016. 

WHO Poverty population and ALICE (14% living in poverty + 33% ALICE = 47%) 
WHAT Providing the opportunity to attain sustainable quality of living via: financial stability, early child and youth development, health care, and safety net
WHERE Greater Houston Area (four-county coverage area includes Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery, and Waller counties)
HOW Transformational change to how United Way will approach its work

United Way will focus on and invest in high-quality programs focused on serving ALICE and those living below the Federal Poverty Level, a group which makes up 47% of our population in the Greater Houston Area in 2018, an increase from 40% in 2016. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

For more information on ALICE, please visit: https://www.unitedwayhouston.org/alice

ALICE could be a single parent with a preschooler and a child in school. He recently lost his job and is seeking employment. He wants the best education and opportunity for his two children. ALICE is resilient and resourceful, but he isn’t sure where to turn for help or how to navigate through different intake and qualification processes and multiple nonprofit organizations and services.

An integrated client journey allows a client to create their own customized pathway based on their goals and needs. Rather than working separately to address individual needs, programs are orchestrated to make it easy for clients to engage across services as needed, breaking down barriers and helping ensure clients can be successful. These services include financial stability services, supported by physical and behavioral health care, early childhood education, and youth development, all supported by safety net services that help people take care of their basic and immediate needs like food, shelter, clothing, and other critical needs such as refugee assistance, and freedom from violent situations like domestic abuse and human trafficking. 

To execute its Second Century Vision, United Way will partner with agencies that provide programs that address clients’ varying needs as they move through their journey.


In order to help prepare agencies for United Way’s bold new vision, we have created trainings that will allow you to:

  • Learn more about United Way of Greater Houston’s Second Century Vision
  • Share common terminology
  • Understand of our expectations on key alignment criteria

While your agency may or may not be funded in the future by United Way, our hope is that you will gain valuable information from these modules that will strengthen and support your organization.

Trainings can be accessed at no cost through the Teachable platform. We recommend you begin with the Upskill 101 training found here.  All other modules can be accessed once this module is completed. Registration is required

Any eligible 501(c)3 non-profit organizations will be invited to apply for funding in Spring 2021. Investment Categories for future funding and criteria may be found in the Upskill training module called Upskill 101. More information coming soon - use the form below to join our email list for the latest updates and information. 

Click here for a one-pager on our most commonly asked questions. If you can’t find your answer here, please contact: SecondCenturyVision@unitedwayhouston.org.

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