United Way Launches THRIVE Financial Stability Initiative

$160,000 to be invested in local organizations

RICHMOND, VA [December 3, 2015] – United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg’s President and CEO, James L. M. Taylor, announced today that United Way and its partners have launched a new initiative called THRIVE that will work to improve the financial stability for 25,000 Richmond region households by 2020.

“United Way has been committed to bringing people and organizations together to find solutions that help people lead better lives and build a better community,” said Taylor. “Today’s announcement is another step forward in this important work.”

THRIVE is a collaborative guided by representatives from the nonprofit, governmental, business, finance, philanthropic, faith-based, and higher education sectors. THRIVE supports efforts to assist low-income families and individuals to improve their incomes, build savings and assets, develop financial literacy — and thereby become more financially stable.

“Unfortunately, financial instability is the new norm,” said Dave Norris who oversees financial stability work at United Way as Director of Community Impact for Income and Health.

Four out of five Americans experience economic insecurity before age 60; this is true for 76% of whites and 90% of nonwhites. More than 40 million Americans live in poverty, including 130,000 residents of our own region. The poverty rate in the Richmond region grew from 8.5% in 2000 to 12.4% in 2011. During that time, the number of people living at or below the poverty line in the City of Richmond and Petersburg grew by 42% while in the top three suburban counties of Henrico, Chesterfield, and Hanover it grew by 75%.

Today, the THRIVE collaborative is investing more than $160,000 in several THRIVE-funded projects. The grants will create a stronger web of financial stability supports for local residents, help local financial stability programs serve more people more effectively, and elevate financial stability as a regional priority.

The first recipient of THRIVE funding is a demonstration project centered on the city of Richmond’s Fulton neighborhood – “Fulton THRIVEs.” Virginia LISC received a $75,000 grant from United Way’s THRIVE financial stability fund to bring together several key partners to provide wraparound financial stability supports to 20-40 residents of public and assisted housing in Fulton. Fulton was chosen as the focal point for the first THRIVE demonstration project in order to build on the momentum of Virginia LISC and the Neighborhood Resource Center to elevate financial stability among residents of that neighborhood. Fulton is also an area targeted for revitalization by the City of Richmond.

“THRIVE’s goals for the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region are aligned with Mayor Dwight C. Jone’s nationally-recognized anti-poverty efforts. We are also pleased to be working in collaboration with the Center for Workforce Innovation, the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and other Richmond City agencies to strengthen local families through financial stability,” stated Taylor.

Along with the $75,000 grant allocated to Fulton THRIVEs, three $25,000 grants and seven $1,500 mini grants were awarded to local programs. These grants were sponsored, in part, by Capital One. (These grant details are provided in a separate document.)

“At Capital One, we believe that healthy businesses and healthy communities go hand in hand,” said Judy Pahren, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Capital One. “Financial stability for families and individuals is crucial to a strong economy, locally and beyond, and Capital One is proud to be part of THRIVE to help families reach their financial goals and achieve their dreams.”

“United Way is committed to helping, lower income families achieve the dreams all families want…good jobs with good wages, safe and affordable housing, financial stability, and a better, brighter future for themselves and their children. Our THRIVE initiative is based on the research that financial stability builds stronger families. And strong families help make our communities better,” concluded Taylor.

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For information about financial stability programs in your area, dial Virginia’s Information and Referral number ‘2-1-1’.

Or

For Fulton neighborhood residents, contact
Cheryl Groce-Wright, Executive Director
The Neighborhood Resource Center
1519 Williamsburg Road
Richmond, Virginia 23231
office: (804) 864-5797
cheryl@nrccafe.org