Our Administration of the Award of $166,179 will Strengthen Emergency Services in Deschutes County

United Way of Central Oregon (UWCO) proudly announces the administration of $166,179 in grants aimed to enhance emergency food, shelter, and clothing services across Deschutes County. This substantial investment will support the most vulnerable members of our community, addressing critical needs and fostering resilience among those facing hardship. 

This year, $78,400 of the funds were provided by Deschutes County, sourced from Video Lottery Funds, and allocated by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners specifically for UWCO’s emergency Community Grants. An additional $87,779 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to bolster agencies that provide those services in Deschutes County. 

“Our commitment to the well-being of Central Oregonians is unwavering,” said Diana Fischetti, Regional Executive Director of UWCO. “Year over year, United Way of Central Oregon has consistently served as the local organization entrusted to lead the volunteer-driven process of allocating and deploying these funds throughout our community, ensuring that resources are directed to the organizations serving those who are in greatest need. This year’s funding priorities included housing, rent assistance, food, clothing, families, and those in underserved areas, communities, and populations.” 

A Local Board consisting of volunteers, including local government, nonprofits, community members, and faith-based organizations, conducted a comprehensive review of applications received in response to an open RFP (Request for Proposals) for these funds. The Local Board voted to determine the distribution of funds among local agency programs providing food, shelter, and clothing. 

United Way’s 2023 study of financial hardship – ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) in the Crosscurrents – revealed that a staggering 38% of households in Central Oregon fall short of the income needed to cover basic living expenses, such as housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, a cell phone, and internet. With many unable to afford a sudden $400 emergency expense, these grant allocations come as critical support for the community. 

Eligible services and expenditures for the federal funds included an array of assistance programs like food services, shelter services, utility aid, and ESFP allocation process administration. County funds further extended eligibility to include clothing and diapers, ensuring a comprehensive approach to emergency assistance. 

Federal EFSP fund recipients were Bethlehem Inn ($12,500), J Bar J Youth Services ($17,145), NeighborImpact ($5,000), Salvation Army ($11,379), Saving Grace ($5,000), Shepherd’s House Ministries ($12,500), The Giving Plate ($7,500), Thrive Central Oregon ($15,000), and United Way of Central Oregon ($1,755). And, recipients of the Deschutes County funds were Assistance League of Bend ($4,750), Bend Church – United Methodist ($6,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend ($7,500), Central Oregon Council on Aging ($4,000), Central Oregon Villages ($10,395), Diaper Bank of Central Oregon ($7,500), Family Kitchen ($7,500), Friends of the Children Central Oregon ($2,500), Home More Network ($5,000), Jericho Road ($7,500), Nativity Lutheran Church Food Pantry ($4,000), Society of St. Vincent De Paul Redmond ($2,500), Society of St. Vincent De Paul La Pine ($1,755), and St. Vincent de Paul Society Bend ($7,500). 

United Way of Central Oregon remains dedicated to advancing healthy communities, youth opportunities, financial security, and community resilience. These grants are a testament to those efforts, offering a lifeline to those in need and contributing to the fabric of a stronger, more supportive Central Oregon. 

For more information about the grant distribution, the impact on local communities, or to learn more about United Way of Central Oregon’s initiatives, please contact Diana Fischetti at diana@uwco.org or call 541-389-6507.  


About United Way of Central Oregon
United Way of Central Oregon exists to advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of our communities, responding to community needs, and investing with our community partners to improve and strengthen lives. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, UWCO works to identify and address the evolving needs of Central Oregon, ensuring that resources are invested where they are most needed and can have the most substantial impact. For more information, visit https://www.unitedwaycentraloregon.org/. For more information about the ALICE study of financial hardship, please visit https://www.unitedforalice.org/. 

Despite Bigger Paychecks, Struggling Households in Oregon Continue to Increase

New ALICE Update shows wage growth was no match for inflation after a decade of falling behind.

Though wages for the lowest paid jobs have risen across the country at the fastest rate in four decades, the number of households struggling to get by in Oregon grew by more than 19,000 from 2021 to 2022. As a result, a total of 764,160 households or 45% were living paycheck to paycheck, according to a new Update from United Ways of the Pacific Northwest and its research partner United For ALICE.

That calculation includes the 203,291 Oregon households in poverty as well as another 560,869 defined as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), earning above the Federal Poverty Level but less than what’s needed to survive in the current economy. ALICE workers include child care providers, home health aides and cashiers — those working low-wage jobs, with little or no savings and one emergency from poverty.

ALICE in the Crosscurrents: An Update on Financial Hardship in Oregon shows that while wages were increasing, so too were costs. For a family of four with an infant and a preschooler, the basic costs to live and work in Oregon, excluding tax credits, rose from $88,152 in 2021 to $96,084 a year later. Compounding the issue in 2022 was the loss of up to $15,000 in federal child tax
credits and stimulus payments that this family had access to in 2021.

“The pandemic remains an ongoing challenge for ALICE families. As the stimulus packages and enhanced tax credits expire, our neighbors are essentially being forced back to budgets similar to the post-Great Recession era, limiting their ability to succeed. We must move beyond survival and talk about what stability means for these families,” said United Ways of the Pacific Northwest President & CEO, Jim Cooper.

The findings in this one-year period are consistent with a more than decade-long trend: Since the end of the Great Recession, despite some ups and downs, the number of ALICE households in Oregon has been steadily growing. From 2010 to 2022, the total number of households rose by 13%, households in poverty decreased by 6% — and the number of ALICE households increased by 34%.

“The data is showing persistent and widespread financial hardship — a red flag that the current system isn’t working for ALICE,” said Stephanie Hoopes, Ph.D., United For ALICE National Director. “Current policy has not been enough to break down the barriers that trap ALICE households in financial hardship, from lack of access to housing and child care that’s affordable, to inadequate community supports such as broadband internet.”

Additional insights include:

  • From 2010 to 2022, people age 65 and over made up the fastest-growing age group in Oregon — and the group with the largest increase (47%) in the number of households struggling to make ends meet.
  • Racial disparities persisted in the rates of financial hardship; 63% of Black and 54% of Hispanic households in Oregon were either in poverty or ALICE in 2022, compared to 43% of white households.
  • Food assistance continued to elude many vulnerable families in Oregon. Partly due to the SNAP income eligibility level in the state (200% of the Federal Poverty Level), only 48% of all Oregon households in poverty and 23% of all ALICE households participated in SNAP in 2022.

To read the Update and access online, interactive dashboards that provide data on financial hardship at the state, county and local levels, visit UnitedforALICE.org/Oregon.

About United Ways of the Pacific Northwest
United Ways of the Pacific Northwest (UWPNW) is the regional trade association for 34 local United Ways in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. United Ways in the Pacific Northwest are committed to improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good in the areas of education, income, and health. Our mission is to advance the common good throughout the Pacific Northwest by enhancing the individual and collective ability of member United Ways to impact their communities and collaborate on regional and statewide issues.

United Ways of the Pacific Northwest is collecting audio testimonials from ALICE individuals about the difficult financial choices they continue to face today given the high cost of essentials and ongoing inflation. Stories can be recorded at: ALICEvoices.org.

About United For ALICE
United For ALICE is a U.S. research organization driving innovation, research and action to improve life across the country for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) and for all. Through the development of the ALICE measurements, a comprehensive, unbiased picture of financial hardship has emerged. Harnessing this data and research on the mismatch between low-paying jobs and the cost of survival, ALICE partners convene, advocate and collaborate on solutions that promote financial stability at local, state and national levels. This grassroots ALICE movement, led by United Way of Northern New Jersey, has spread to 31 states and includes United Ways, corporations, nonprofits and foundations in Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin; we are United For ALICE. For more information, visit: UnitedForALICE.org.