United Way of Allen County held a news conference to announce a series of new strategic priorities for the community Friday morning.
United Way outlines its priorities as educational opportunities, food security, housing stability and mental health access, all published in a report earlier this week. These priorities were determined through community conversations and Census data.
18 local agencies participated in the study.
In discussing the findings, population and income data were a focal point. Community Research Institute director Rachel Blakeman specifically spoke about housing and wages, highlighting one area where the state lags significantly.
“If you’ve been working here since 2001 to 2019, you got a $95 raise if we adjust for inflation of the average wage. Looking at it nationally, they were at $6,900.”
With some fresh numbers from as recently as 2019, the new strategic priorities are more specific than those outlined in the last strategic plan three years ago, officials said.
United Way says it will take the next 6-8 months to determine the best ways to respond to these outlined priorities.