United Way of Nevada County (UWNC) has been serving Nevada County for 36 years, striving to make impactful changes in the local community. United Way works to create community-based and community-led solutions that strengthen the cornerstones needed for a good quality of life. In a 2018 study done by United Ways of California that examine each of California’s 58 counties at the neighborhood level, it was found that more than one in three California households (33%) do not earn sufficient income to meet basic needs. In Nevada County, this study revealed that 38% of all households in the county spend more than 30% of their income on housing.
Over the past several years, due to these studies and the results of several collaborative meetings, United Way has focused on the basic needs of the community. A strategic plan was produced as a guide for the board and staff to achieve their vision as well as to evolve and strengthen the organization’s future. United Way of Nevada County continues to strive to address the basic needs of the community. Through strategic efforts the board and staff hope to mobilize the community to come together to make a difference in the specific areas of food insecurity, access to health care and emergency shelter.
Through researching the needs in the community, United Way has been able to pinpoint some gaps in services, and it is striving to help fill some of those needs. The Food Access Saturday program is one such example. United Way saw a need in the community for a food distribution program during the weekend. Through collaborations, it helped fill that need by creating Food Access Saturday, which is now a monthly program that has provided more than 1500 individuals with much-needed healthy food. In addition, United Way saw a need in the community for transportation to services, and it collaborated with Hospitality House to purchase a van for transportation for the homeless to services. United Way has also seen a need in the community for better medical care accessibility and will be hosting a free California CareForce medical clinic in January of 2020.
Through community collaborations and a focused board and staff, United Way has been delivering change. Not only has it been funding community programs, it has been creating important programs like Food Access Saturday. United Way has also revised their policies to make emergency funding available to community partners. In 2017 when the fires hit Nevada County, United Way made funds available to help partner agencies. Funds from the United Way Community Impact fund were used to help the Food Bank with their expenses in helping the evacuation centers. This year, United Way doubled the size of its board of directors, creating a hard-working, hands on volunteer board focused on making impactful change in our community. Megan Timpany, CEO of United Way of Nevada County, recently remarked, “It has been an honor and a privilege to work with all the wonderful individuals that have helped to make United Way what it is today. Through their focused efforts United Way strives to build a healthier community. We are looking forward to a very productive new year.”