Spotlight: Basic Needs

This winter, we’re going back to the basics.

Basic Needs is the foundation of our entire Steps to Success framework. It is difficult, if not impossible, to maintain a job, prepare kids for school and be financially stable if you do not have food on the table and a safe, secure place to call home. This holiday season, we encourage you to learn why Basic Needs is the basis for success throughout life and the work United Way is doing to help people in this area.

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg helps people in our region meet their basic needs in a number of ways. We support 211 Virginia, a free, confidential referral and information helpline and website that connects people of all ages and from all communities to essential health and human services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We also provide more than $1.7 million in funding to 17 programs at local nonprofits that provide food, shelter and other essentials. Get to know one of these agencies, Housing Families First, in our recent Q&A.

The Basic Needs Step connects to everything that comes later. Click below to  make a donation to your local United Way or learn more about how the Basic Needs Step connects to the other eight Steps to Success.



Born Healthy & Prepared for Kindergarten

Early childhood education is most effective when young children are healthy and ready to learn. Mothers and families must have the basic necessities to help children grow, learn and play. Without these basic needs, it will be extremely difficult for young children to meet basic health and education benchmarks.

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Third Grade Reading & Middle School Engagement

Success in school starts at home. Students cannot be prepared for school and engaged in learning if they are hungry, unsafe or worried about where they will sleep at night. That’s why Basic Needs is the foundation of our Steps to Success.

High School Graduation & College- or Career-ready

It is important for high school students to focus on school rather than how they are going to find their next meal. Teens living without basic needs — safe housing and food to eat — are much less likely to graduate high school and secure a job.

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Financial Well-being & Connected & Healthy Older Adults

Financial Well-being is a critical part of meeting basic needs. We all need financial stability to afford food, housing and absorb bumps in the road. This is particularly important for older adults, many of whom live in households at or near the poverty level.

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