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Financial Stability/Income

United Way of Hunterdon County is helping hard-working people and their families in Hunterdon County become financially stable and take the next steps to long-term independence.

Too many of our neighbors in Hunterdon County are walking a financial tight rope—barely getting by, with no ability to save for college, a home, or retirement. Others have been destabilized as a result of these turbulent economic times. That’s why we are working together with our partners, both public and private, to transform that financial tightrope into solid ground.

Strategic Objectives:

United Way has developed a portfolio of programs in the areas of financial education, coaching and mentoring. These programs will feed into United Way’s indicators of change using a number of measurable outcomes to support the Community Goal to improve the financial stability of 10,000 Hunterdon County residents by 2020 – also known as "10 by 20"

Furthermore, United Way is leading the Financial Stability Partnership's Hunterdon Thrive intitiative.

Financial Stability Partnership (FSP) brings together the public and private sectors to assist ALICE families and individuals with finding solutions to various financial challenges.  The FSP launched "Hunterdon Thrive," a unique outcome-driven initiative in 2014. Hunterdon Thrive provides ALICE with system navigation, coaching and goal setting while at the same time gathering individual and community-level data to:

  1. Measure progress against the community goal of 10 by 20;
  2. Identify system gaps and needs as well as areas of success that would benefit from increased support.
  3. The initiative partners and Rutgers University will publish the outcomes of the pilot year as the first step in providing a sustainable model that can grow in Hunterdon and elsewhere.

In addition to collaborations with organizations throughout Hunterdon County, our ongoing programs in the area of Financial Stability include:

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)

Free Tax Preparation is done in partnership with the IRS. The program has two main objectives:

 - To assist eligible tax payers to claim tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
 - To encourage individuals and families to split tax refunds and put money into savings accounts.

And now we’ve made tax filing even easier! Through this unique collaboration with the IRS, hard-working tax payers are now able to prepare their taxes online from anywhere, anytime, free of charge. Here is the link to prepare taxes on line -- myfreetaxes.com.  Families and individuals with a combined income under $62,000 for 2015 are qualified to use this website for free; a nominal fee will apply to others. This fee never applies to taxes prepared in person at a United Way VITA tax site.

Change Up - Financial Coaching

Strategic Objective: Improve financial literacy and management skills through education

Primary Outcome Measure: Increase financial stability of 20 households through one-year match of 5 Volunteer Financial Resource Specialists and/or Coaches to 20 clients (eg, 4 clients per coach)

Secondary Outcome:

  • Encourage sustained volunteerism.
  • Increase awareness and utilization of income support programs

Money Talks budgeting and other income-related workshops.

Workshops will be provided by United Way Resource Center volunteers as well as through referral and in collaboration with third-party organizations in order to offer a mix of hands-on and lecture-style workshops that will be tailored to meet client requests.

Strategic Objectives:

  • Increase awareness and utilization of income support programs.
  • Improve financial literacy and management skills through education.
  • Assist individuals and families to obtain and retain affordable housing.
  • Provide referrals to Change Up mentoring program.