Health Coverage for All California Children
United Way's Committment to Healthier Children and a Strong Economy
All Californians benefit when our children have health insurance and receive preventive care. It is not only good for our kids, but it helps keep costs down for all of us. The fact is, Californians are already paying for healthcare for uninsured children, but in a less cost-effective way. That's why United Way believes we must have policies and funding in place at both the state and federal level to ensure all children have access to healthcare. At the same time, United Way understands that business is the engine of California's economy and works to help ensure policies to cover all children are fair to business and helpful to our state's fiscal environment.
United Way is involved in the Covering California's Children campaign to ensure healthier children and a stronger economy. We are also working hard to protect California's children's health safety net programs from state budget cuts.
2-1-1: Getting People the Help They Need
2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember telephone number that connects people to essential community information and referral services. The goal of 2-1-1 California is to connect all Californians with the services, information, resources and volunteer opportunities in their communities 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.When a person calls 2-1-1, specially trained "real people" answer the call and determine what services, information or resources are needed to help the caller. 2-1-1 now serves 225 million Americans in all or part of 45 states, serving over 75 percent of the U.S. population.
When disasters strike, 2-1-1 can help field non-emergency calls leaving 9-1-1 operators to handle true emergencies. In 2007, 2-1-1 operators handled 100,000 calls due to wildfires in San Diego and Southern California.
Financial Stability for Californians
Too many Californians do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. These individuals and families are walking a financial tightrope - they are barely able to get by, with no ability to save for college, a home, or for retirement. With your help, United Way of California - along with United Way of America - is working to cut in half the number of lower-income families who are financially unstable. If we're successful, by 2018, 1.9 million working families will be on the road to economic independence.
United Way's financial stability work begins with tools and strategies that help families increase and maximize their income in order to meet daily expenses, as well as to begin the longer-term process of saving and building assets.
Our nation's personal savings rate in 2006 was a negative 1 percent, the lowest since the Great Depression. Though saving is important for individuals and families at all income levels, it is especially critical for low- to moderate-income families, who often have no assets or access to credit and have a harder time remaining financially stable during changes in income due to illness, job loss or other unforeseen events. This underscores the importance of saving and provides access to products/services that make it easier to do so.
Gain and Sustain Assets:
As people increase their income, enter the financial mainstream through relationships with financial institutions, build savings and reduce their debt, they will be better positioned to make choices about their financial well-being. These choices may include asset purchases such as a house or a vehicle, retirement and/or college savings, or the creation of a small business. This step offers strategies for individuals and families to achieve their asset goals and, once they have done so, to continue to build and sustain their assets in the long term.