Before the pandemic, we knew that 1 in 3 families in the Chicago region struggled to survive. We also knew that where you are born can predict the quality of your education; how much money you'll earn over the course of your lifetime and even your life expectancy.

Individuals and families living in every zip code, and of every race, deserve the same opportunities for success. Together, we can change the odds so that's possible. Our goal at United Way is to strengthen our neighborhoods and close the economic and life expectancy gap by supporting community and agency-led strategies that focus on economic and workforce development; education; housing; safety and more.


As co-creators of the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, we saw the importance of responding to immediate community needs, and understood the powerful impact of a coordinated, placed-based responses.

At United Way, we believe a dual approach is the key to an equitable recovery for the Chicago region. We are committed to helping our neighbors meet their basic needs and working alongside community leaders to rebuild stronger, more equitable neighborhoods by deepening our investment in innovative models transforming systems and supporting coordinated, place-based efforts.



United Way of Metro Chicago and The Chicago Community Trust (CCT) launched the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund (CCRF) to quickly raise and deploy much needed crisis support during the pandemic to help ensure that tens of thousands of individuals and families were able to access food, stay in their homes, and receive critical health services.

As we move from immediate response to long-term recovery, United Way remains committed to helping our neighbors make ends meet by reducing barriers to services and investing in direct service programs that provide critical supports in housing, food access, safety from abuse, and access to healthcare.

With the generous support of our donors—aligned with partners who offer wraparound support, advocate for human service policy and build capacity for the system to better serve our neighbors across the region—we will meet the basic needs of our neighbors and build back better.

Learn more about our March to Recovery campaign and how you can make a gift to help build a stronger, more equitable Chicago Region.



To increase access and enhance delivery of services to our neighbors, United Way partners with nonprofit organizations that advocate for system improvements and advance direct service delivery through innovative approaches.

We support collaborative partnerships and coordinated programs that provide high quality direct services anchored in one of United Way’s priority areas: housing, food access, safety from abuse, access to healthcare, tax preparation, legal assistance, early learning or workforce development. These programs are connected to broader community efforts in United Way Neighborhood Networks and select communities across the region to addressing the multi-layered challenges facing individuals and families.

View a full list of our regional recovery nonprofit partners or learn more about our placed-based Neighborhood Network strategy.

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