EDUCATION   •   INCOME   •   HEALTH   •   ESSENTIAL NEEDS   •   DOWNLOAD A PDF

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Increase the percentage of central Iowa students who graduate from high school to 95%

Education-chart

 WHAT WE FIGHT FOR

 


 

STUDENTS READ PROFICIENTLY

1-02of central Iowa students are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade. 

Iowa Department of Education

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Children who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are 4 times less likely to graduate from high school. 

 Annie E. Casey Foundation

 


 

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YOUTH RECEIVE SUPPORT TO GRADUATE

Sixth-graders who do not attend school regularly, receive poor behavior marks, or fail math or English have no more than a 10% chance of graduating on time.

 Balfanz & Herzog

 WHERE WE WIN

 


 

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SCHOOL READINESS

of central Iowa kindergartners were proficient in literacy skills during the 2017-2018 school year, up from 55.5% in 2014-2015*, with help from Women United’s investments serving children from birth to age 8.

* Iowa Department of Education


 


volunteer mentors read with 1,057 children during the 2017-2018 school year through United Way’s READ to SUCCEED programs: Book Buddy, Power Read, and Real Men Read, playing an important role in building reading skills.  

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More than 55,000 books were given to children through United Way-funded programs in 2018. 



 

YOUTH SUPPORT

youth participated in United Way-funded school and/or out-of-school programs in 2018, with help from Education investments, including Education Leadership Initiative.

93.2% had good attendance.        90.4% passed all classes.

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Increase the percentage of central Iowans who are financially self-sufficient to 75%

income-chart

 

 WHAT WE FIGHT FOR

 

ADULTS GAIN SKILLS FOR BETTER JOBS

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55% of all jobs in central Iowa require education or training after high school up to an associate degree.
Only 32% of the workforce has the right skills for these jobs. 

Iowa Workforce Development


 

INDIVIDUALS FACE FEWER BARRIERS TO THRIVE

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of people convicted of a crime are not employed one year after release from prison.

National Institute of Justice 

 

 

Largest average monthly costs for an Iowa family of four (2 adults, 1 infant, 1 preschooler):
- $1,035 child care
- $800 health care
- $659 housing

ALICE Report

is the median household income for all of Polk County.

VS

is the median household income for African-Americans in Polk County.

One Economy

 

 WHERE WE WIN

 

more central Iowans were financially self-sufficient in 2017 than two years before.

U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey


 


 

BETTER JOBS

 

individuals are receiving training or education for health care jobs, 100 more than projected, through United Way’s Central Iowa HealthWorks. Nearly 70% of individuals served represent minority populations. 

 

income increase was achieved within 18 months by 614 adults who earned their high school equivalency diplomas through United Way’s Bridges to Success initiative. 

Iowa Workforce Development


 

 REMOVING BARRIERS

 

 

volunteers provided free tax preparation to 4,703 central Iowans through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2018. This program helps low-income central Iowans receive the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which can help lift people out of poverty.


 


In 2018, the Iowa Legislature repealed a law that revoked the driver’s licenses of people with non-driving drug offenses. United Way’s OpportUNITY initiative successfully advocated to remove this barrier for citizens returning from prison so they can find employment and housing. 

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Increase central Iowa's Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index score to 64.5

health-chart

 WHAT WE FIGHT FOR

 


 

CENTRAL IOWANS THRIVE IN ALL FIVE WELL-BEING FACTORS

 

Central Iowa ranks in the 

 

of U.S. regions for consuming 5+ servings of produce 4+ days per week. 

Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index

SOCIAL

Workers who are lonely perform more poorly, quit more often, and feel less satisfied with their jobs, costing employers up to $4.5 billion in the U.S. 

Harvard Business Review

COMMUNITY

A lower-income neighborhood in central Iowa has 1 mile of bike paths and 8 opportunities for kids’ activities compared with 35 miles of bike paths and 50 opportunities for kids’ activities in a higher-income neighborhood. 

Place, Race, Poverty, and Young Children

FINANCIAL

One-third of central Iowans worry about money on a regular basis.

Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index

PURPOSE/CAREER

People who find meaning in their work are 93% more engaged and nearly 3 times more likely to stay with their employer.

the human era @ work

 WHERE WE WIN

 


 

IMPROVING HEALTH

health factors saw improvement in scores in 2018. 

Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index


 

 PHYSICAL

pounds of fresh produce were grown in community and corporate giving gardens supported by United Way, feeding 12,000 central Iowans. 

SOCIAL

United Way of Central Iowa and the Iowa ACEs 360 Coalition successfully advocated for legislation requiring all school employees to be trained annually on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), toxic stress, and suicide prevention. 

PURPOSE/ CAREER

volunteers gave 243,081 hours through volunteer opportunities sponsored or supported by United Way of Central Iowa in 2018, leading to $6 million in economic impact. 

 FINANCIAL

uninsured and underinsured central Iowans accessed affordable dental care, avoiding expensive and unnecessary school and work absences, emergency room visits, and health complications. 

 COMMUNITY

children in central Iowa demonstrated healthy habits through United Way’s 5-2-1-0 initiative in schools, child care centers, and health care clinics.

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Without access to essential needs, children cannot learn in school, families cannot be financially stable, and individuals cannot enjoy health and well-being.

WHAT WE FIGHT FOR

FAMILIES MEET BASIC NEEDS

Percent of population struggling to meet basic needs: 

ALICE Report

 
increase in visits to the DMARC Food Pantry Network since 2012 

Des Moines Area Religious Council

 of low-income households experienced
at least one civil legal problem with health care, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits, or other issues in 2017.

Legal Services Organization, 2017 Justice Gap Report


 For every 100 low-income central Iowa households needing affordable housing, there are only 40 affordable units available. Closing the gap would require an additional 

Polk County Housing Trust Fund

For a family of four with an annual income of $25,100, rent costs 50 cents for every dollar earned.

 Polk County Housing Trust Fund

WHERE WE WIN

 meals and food items were served or distributed to individuals/families through United Way-supported partners and shelter services in 2018. 

In 2019, a free 24/7 Housing Interpretation Hotline was launched by OpportUNITY’s New Iowans work group to help landlords and non-English speaking tenants solve housing issues.

calls were received by United Way’s
2-1-1 helpline in 2018. United Way’s 2-1-1 serves a 15-county area and helps Iowans address essential needs.

 


 

211 Pie Chart

 

The United Way of Central Iowa Data Team is available to provide maps, data, and statistics about human services in central Iowa.
If you have a need for data, please click below to submit a request.

Data Request Form