Empowering independence through United Way basic needs services.
Two years ago, Jacolla, a nurse at UPMC Community Osteopathic, was connected to United Way of the Capital Region’s Road to Success initiative which helps people get – and keep jobs - with opportunities for advancement. The program also helps those who are employed and want to advance in the workplace but need help overcoming barriers. Barriers like transportation and child care often keep people from succeeding.
Jacolla, a single mother of two young boys, was struggling to find day care services for her sons in the morning to allow her to begin her shift at 7:00. She also needed help in the afternoon after her sons finished school, as Jacolla was studying to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Jacolla was connected to Trinity Johnson, case manager for Road to Success. Trinity quickly connected Jacolla to KinderCare, which met Jacolla’s child care needs. Through Road to Success, Jacolla received financial support for the cost of child care. “Knowing my children are at KinderCare brings me peace of mind,” Jacolla says. “If my kids aren’t safe, I can’t focus on my job.”
This year, Jacolla will earn her bachelor’s degree. She is also in the “step-down” process with her child care expenses and will soon be able to afford the cost all on her own. She has worked with Trinity to establish a budget to plan for this expense.
“Thank you United Way,” Jacolla says. “I don’t think I could have made it this far in my journey without your support.”
United Way wants to help more people like Jacolla find independence by supporting child care costs. That’s why we recently expanded our work around basic needs to include child care as well as services providing food, housing and utilities, information and referral services, and language support.