Vision: More people are on pathways out of poverty.

Goal: Increase the number of families, particularly families of color, who become economically stable through strategies that integrate family-sustaining jobs, secure housing and food supports.

Why it Matters:

When individuals have jobs earning family-sustaining wages and safe and affordable housing, they are less stressed and more able to provide for themselves and their families.

Currently, 11% of Dane County individuals are experiencing poverty (2015-2019 US Census 5-year estimates) and 141 families experiencing homelessness are on our community’s priority list for housing.

INCOME Fast Facts


0 %

of individuals placed
in jobs at $15+/hour.



families were
stably housed.


0 %

of returning citizens
did not return to prison.

In 2021, we are investing $3,806,066 in 31 programs at 15 nonprofit partners.

HIRE initiative: Breaking down barriers, preparing people for employment

Many jobs go unfilled in Dane County because employers cannot find workers with the right qualifications. Similarly, those in need of a job do not have the necessary skillset to be hired in jobs with family-sustaining wages. We’re working to close that gap!

In 2013, we launched our HIRE Initiative, which is a program that focuses on helping adults train for and find employment. We work with 6 local partner agencies to connect participants with resources they need to earn a diploma and/or receive industry-specific training. We partner with 41 local employers to place participants in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages with career growth.


Increase the number of individuals who obtain or maintain stable housing through case management and financial assistance.

Increase access to healthy food as a housing strategy to free up funds in family budgets for rent.

Increase the number of individuals who gain family-sustaining employment.

Increase the number of individuals who receive education services to gain family-sustaining employment.

Provide Residency, Employment, Treatment, Education and Support (RESET) for returning citizens (formerly incarcerated individuals).

Housing Help During COVID-19

When Yara, a single mother of a 6-month-old baby found herself homeless and jobless at the onset of the pandemic, she began to lose hope. After being denied by several apartment complexes and told her unemployment insurance benefits were weeks away, she turned to Community Action Coalition.

Using money from our COVID-19 Emergency and Relief Fund, they were able to set her up with safe, affordable housing. Now, Yara is doing great! She has found a job and is able to work from home to care for her baby. Without this assistance, they would still be sleeping in their car.

Public Policy Priorities

Strengthen access to job training and workforce development programs that align to jobs with family-supporting wages, benefits and stable work schedules and provide opportunities for career advancement.

Support tax and other public policies that promote income stability.

Expand access to affordable housing and address disparities in homeownership rates which contribute to the racial wealth gap.

Interested in supporting our efforts to help more people find pathways out of poverty?

For more information, please contact Angela Jones at • (608) 246-4376

United Way of Dane County Invests in Income Programs at These Agencies

Catholic Charities, Inc., Diocese of Madison
Centro Hispano, Inc.
Community Action Coalition
for South Central Wisconsin, Inc.
Community Coordinated Child Care, Inc. (4-C), in Dane County
Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, Inc.
Literacy Network
Madison-area Urban Ministry, Inc.
DBA JustDane
Middleton Outreach Ministry, Inc.
Porchlight, Inc.
Sankofa Behavioral & Community Health
Second Harvest Foodbank
of Southern Wisconsin
Stoughton Area Resource Team (START), Inc.
Sunshine Place
The Road Home Dane County, Inc.
The Salvation Army of Dane County
Urban League of Greater Madison, Inc.
Vera Court Neighborhood Center, Inc.
YWCA Madison, Inc.