United Way Leaders United Quarterly - Spring - Page 2



WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Despite our thriving economy, too many
of our neighbors are living in poverty.
Nashville is experiencing a period of extraordinary
growth. With new residents moving in at a record
pace and more and more major corporations
relocating their headquarters to our city, our
community is quickly changing.
But with economic growth also comes significant
challenges to long-time residents struggling to keep
up with the change. Affordable housing, workforce
development and the wage gap are becoming increasing
concerns in many of our neighborhoods.
Currently, 17.2 percent of the Nashville population lives
in poverty—having an annual household income at or
below $25,750 for a family of four, according to federal
poverty guidelines. That’s one fifth of our neighbors
and 30 percent of those are children. Many of these
people are working full-time jobs (sometimes two), but
because their wages are so low and costs for housing
and child care are so high, they are unable to make ends
meet. Couple these financial struggles with chronic
unemployment, financial illiteracy, homelessness,
mental illness and lack of education or vocational
training, and overcoming the cycle of poverty can seem
insurmountable.
United Way is bringing together the business,
government and nonprofit communities to solve these
problems and break the cycle of multi-generational
poverty. We do this by providing access to free
financial counseling services and banking accounts to
build assets and increase financial reserves; offering
continuing education and job training so people can get
higher paying jobs; and setting people on the path
to financial independence.
We must do more to alleviate poverty for our most
vulnerable neighbors and provide clear and attainable
pathways to brighter futures for the next generations.
2
Unite d Way of Metro p o l i tan Nas h v i l l e
Currently, 17.2 percent of
the Nashville population
lives in poverty—having an
annual household income
at or below $25,750 for a
family of four, according to
federal poverty guidelines.





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