United Way THRIVE Helps More than 44,000 Families in Year Four
Stronger, more financially stable families mean better parents, safer neighborhoods and a more resilient community for us all. That’s why United Way of Greater Houston is committed to lifting up hardworking, low-income families through United Way THRIVE.

“THRIVE works to support hardworking, low-income families who are committed to long-term change and to achieving financial stability,” says Fran Rosebush, senior manager at United Way. “Families who earn $20,000 to $35,000 a year often face many barriers, such as transportation, child care, and time. THRIVE makes it possible for these families to access all of the financial stability services they need to achieve their goals.”

In its fourth year, THRIVE achieved remarkable success in establishing a path to financial stability for more than 44,000 Houston-area families.

THRIVE’s other year four accomplishments include:
  • Free income tax preparation helped more than 31,000 families claim refunds of more than $41 million
  • More than 4,200 families increased their savings through opening a savings account or participating in a matched savings program
  • More than 8,900 families obtained financial education to better budget and handle their finances
  • 75% of families who came to THRIVE unemployed secured a job
  • 69% of clients increased their net worth
  • The average family increased their income by $17,900 a year, based on a sample
  • After three months, the average financial coaching client:
    • Reduced financial expenses by $312 per year
    • Increased disposable income by $379 per month
Launched and led by United Way of Greater Houston, United Way THRIVE is a collaborative of non-profit partners throughout the Houston area that support families in their efforts to attain what every family wants: good jobs with good wages, safe and affordable housing, financial security and success for their children.

THRIVE is designed to help families earn sufficient income, coupled with responsible financial habits, to meet ordinary expenses and set aside funds for emergencies and future needs. THRIVE helps families achieve financial stability by focusing on three key strategies: increasing income, building savings and acquiring assets.

"United Way THRIVE is changing the orientation of a family from one perspective (finding and receiving social services) to another (building their own financial skills to better obtain financial stability)," says one THRIVE partner. "It takes time for families to save enough money to acquire assets. But, once families have the financial habits and the assets they need, they often won't need help again."

One of the other great outcomes of United Way THRIVE has been the evolution of a strong collaboration of partner agencies, led by United Way of Greater Houston, that are committed to working together to support families along the path toward financial stability. THRIVE partner agencies have credited the United Way THRIVE collaborative with helping them build connections to better refer clients, providing resources to better meet client needs, and fostering opportunities to collaborate and enhance services for clients.

“I have seen such a huge evolution in THRIVE,” says one partner. “Member organizations started out being very territorial and now we seek each other out to collaborate on projects together.”

United Way THRIVE gives hardworking families a better chance of becoming financially stable, allowing them to contribute back to the local economy and create a stronger future for themselves and their children. We know that by strengthening a family today, we strengthen our entire community tomorrow.

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