HELP AVAILABLE FOR GREATER HOUSTON NEIGHBORS READY TO IMPROVE THEIR FINANCIAL STABILITY
Apply for no-cost connection to a resource network and assistance navigating it from United Way of Greater Houston
HOUSTON (July 12, 2023) – Many who live in the Greater Houston area are working hard but struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising rent, fuel and food costs. Those who are ready to work on their long-term financial stability goals are invited to learn more about United Way of Greater Houston’s network of comprehensive services, the Integrated Client Journey, and the personalized support available to help them. The ICJ helps area residents identify their goals and connects them with the tools and resources needed to make progress on their financial journey through a newly developed streamlined process. Through the Integrated Client Journey United Way is working with its partners to help families and individuals not just land on their feet but stay there.
The ICJ works by connecting a client with a navigator, a personal guide who works with them to assess their current situation and set goals based on their unique needs. The navigator then helps each client identify and access services provided by a network of over 100 nonprofit agencies who collaborate to serve financially struggling households.
Often, navigating the complex network of social service resources is a significant barrier to families because it can be confusing and time-consuming. Navigators instead make important connections and referrals to services that can help a client advance in their journey to financial stability. Navigators also help to address obstacles along the way and assist clients when they need extra help or advice to keep moving forward. In one recent example, the mom of a child with a disability enrolled in the program to help her prioritize her goals regarding her small business and her mental health. The navigator connected her to bundled financial stability services to support her business goals and a wellness clinic to address her mental health needs. Both referrals were part of supporting her efforts to become more financially stable for her daughter’s future and her own.
“The Integrated Client Journey is built on the belief that people are the experts in their own lives but can benefit from having someone walk alongside them in this journey to financial stability. When given the opportunity and information, they get to make the best choices for their future,” said Amanda McMillian, president and CEO, United Way of Greater Houston. “Trained navigators are there to remove some of those barriers, no matter how big or small, that can have a huge impact on a family’s financial trajectory.”
The United Way’s ICJ operates across 13 priority regions within Fort Bend, Harris, Montgomery and Waller counties. These regions were identified based on the number of households that are financially struggling, as defined by the United Way ALICE Report (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), and the density of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, a population that has been disproportionately impacted by economic, educational and assistance disparities caused by systemic racism and other barriers.
Currently, there are 20 navigators based within 15 United Way funded partner agencies across the priority regions. The navigation teams have undergone training on core coaching skills, implicit bias, motivational interviewing, cultural humility, trauma informed care and other key tools to better serve clients.
The ICJ was established as part of United Way of Greater Houston’s new strategic direction developed to help families attain a more sustainable financial future through services such as workforce development and financial coaching; early childhood and youth development programs; physical and behavioral health care services; basic needs assistance; and services and support for those escaping violent situations. The ICJ is based on over a decade of experience with United Way’s THRIVE financial stability program, which shows the journey to financial stability varies based on each person’s situation and the services and support they need. Using a cloud-based infrastructure, the ICJ’s technology tool serves as a comprehensive platform to increase access to programs and services, support greater continuity of care between service providers; track client progress; identify gaps in services and best practices; and measure the program’s impact across Greater Houston.
Those who reside in the four-county region are eligible to participate in the ICJ at no cost. Those who complete the online form will be contacted by a navigator who will share more about the ICJ and gather additional background information to determine readiness for the program. If it’s determined a client is not eligible to participate in the ICJ, navigators will refer them to available social service resources or the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE to meet their immediate needs.
For more information on the ICJ and to submit an application, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org/icj, call the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE or text START to 50503.
About United Way of Greater Houston United Way of Greater Houston connects people with possibility. We unite donors, volunteers and community partners in support of a focused plan to remove barriers on the path to financial stability for families and individuals. Programs focused on financial stability, early childhood and youth development, and physical and behavioral health care help our neighbors land on their feet and stay there. These programs are supported by a foundation of basic needs assistance and help for those escaping violence. For families and individuals who are ready, our individualized approach includes navigators to guide them as they access multiple services on their unique journey to financial stability. United Way also connects our neighbors with help, hope and critical resources 24/7/365 through the 211 Texas/United Way HELPLINE. A focus on equity is integral to United Way’s work and program investments are evaluated on how diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging is incorporated into policies, practices and service delivery. Our community investments are backed by research, ensured by good stewardship and deliver results. For more information, visit www.unitedwayhouston.org.