Austin Bold goal

By 2025, Austin Coming Together members will provide high-quality early learning opportunities to 3,900 low-income children living in the Austin community and will assist 2,775 residents in securing and retaining living-wage employment.

Where we’ve been

The Austin Neighborhood Network is working to expand access to early learning opportunities, to create safe community spaces for families, and to support economic stability and success for parents and guardians.

Select “next” to read more about the work we’ve accomplished.

Access to early learning

  • The Neighborhood Network teamed up with Truman College to bring associate degree courses to Austin so childcare providers can earn degrees and increase their credential levels.
  • The fifth-annual Early Childhood Symposium provided 64 childcare providers with five hours of approved professional development.
  • 15 childcare providers were given the tools they needed to increase their early childhood education credentials.
  • 827 children were connected to early learning programs.

Creating safe communities for families

  • Three community planning summits were each attended by more than 125 people.
  • The Network finalized a new membership structure and partner commitments.
  • 10 Network members participated in social labs training that helped them learn how to prototype and test projects to improve the community.

Supporting economic success for parents and guardians

  • A referral tracking system was created for workforce development partners.
  • 124 residents were placed in jobs.

Where we’re going

The Austin Neighborhood Network will continue investing in children and families by providing greater access to early learning opportunities, by creating safe community spaces for families to gather and by helping parents achieve economic success. Stabilizing a child’s home and environment will allow early learning efforts to take root within a child’s life.

Select “next” to read more about where we’re going.

Early learning

  • Austin Coming Together was selected by the Erikson Institute to administer the Early Development Instrument, a teacher questionnaire, in Austin. This will help connect children and families with appropriate social service agencies and develop stronger early education outcomes.

Safe communities

  • The Network was awarded $50,000 from the Chicago Community Trust’s African American Legacy Grant to provide training and technical assistance that helps organizations build their capacities to practice restorative justice in their communities.
  • The Woods Fund awarded the Network a $5,000 grant for community organizing and for the training of community stakeholders in the Neighborhood Network.

Workforce development for parents and guardians

  • The Austin Career Connection launched the Access United program which placed nearly 50 clients in trade apprenticeship programs in its first year.

Hear from your neighbors and supporters

Olivia Santiago

BUILD community social worker

“We want to create a space for women to feel safe and [be] themselves. We want to show that violence and trauma is not normal, but also teach them how to navigate this place because they can’t leave it.”

Steve Battreall

President and CEO Commercial Distribution Finance, Wells Fargo

“Wells Fargo cares deeply about our Chicago neighborhoods and that’s why we’ve partnered with United Way for many years. We share a common goal—improve lives and build stronger communities.”

Lisa N. Johnson

Chief Operating Officer, The Lamar Johnson Collaborative

“Lamar Johnson Collaborative is focused on bringing positive change to communities through planning and design, and we are proud to partner with United Way’s Austin Neighborhood Network. United Way’s approach provides a connection to the residents who are at the forefront of bringing change to Austin, and we are excited to be a part of their efforts.”

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