Basic Needs

Families and individuals must have a safe home with healthy food for everyone who lives there in order to work toward a higher degree of prosperity.

Food on the table. A safe and secure place to call “home.” These are basic needs for everyone in the Richmond and Petersburg region. Unfortunately, many of our friends and neighbors are unable to provide these essentials for themselves or their families. Many more residents live at risk, living month to month in situations where a sudden job loss or health crisis could be devastating.

Covering these basic needs is the first step on the path to success. We are committed to helping everyone get there.

What We Do

United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg funds programs that address the core challenges preventing people from meeting their basic needs: poverty, homelessness, crime and access to food. We mobilize individuals and organizations to tackle these problems head-on, both at the individual and systemic levels.

211 is 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. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg supports 211 Virginia and employs a 211 Regional Outreach Specialist at our headquarters in Richmond.
The Emergency Food and Shelter Program (ESFP) helps fund non-profits and public agencies who are providing food services, shelter, rent/mortgage and utility assistance to their local residents. If you are a resident of Charles City County, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie County, Henrico County, Petersburg, or Richmond, and are in need of one or more of these services, you will find contact information for all associated agencies and additional information on the EFSP page.
Lack of transportation is a major challenge for many people in our community. Ride United provides on-demand rides on Lyft for people with no other transportation options. This program connects people to education, employment, health care and other critical services.
Access to health care coverage is one of the top concerns for people in our region. United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg partners with SingleCare to offer a free prescription assistance discount card to help everyone in our community.
United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg formed the Southside Trauma-Informed Community Network (Southside TICN) in August 2016, after numerous community leaders and organizations expressed interest in coming together to better understand trauma-informed care and incorporate its best practices into their work.
Thriving Families is a United Way-led collaboration of local organizations serving families that are at risk of housing instability. This program uses a two-generational approach and works with adults and children to keep families strong in moments of uncertainty.

Insights & Spotlights

United Way staff members are available to provide valuable insight and knowledge on each of our Steps to Success. We invite you to hear from these experts within our organization and learn more about Basic Needs.