CORE: Creating Open Roads to Equity

Poverty is a Trap

In Snohomish County, more than 26% of families are in poverty or struggling to get by. For a family of four, the Federal Poverty Level is $25,100 a year and while struggling families earn more than the poverty level, they still earn less than the basic cost of living in our region.

In 2018, United Way of Snohomish County launched CORE: Creating Open Roads to Equity. CORE is bold and collaborative work, which recognizes that solving a multi-faceted issue like poverty requires complex, systems-oriented solutions.

United Way invests in structured and measured, collaborative solutions for families with young children in Snohomish County experiencing poverty. We develop innovative strategies to shift the focus from short-term fixes to long-term, lasting solutions. We also use two national models, Collective Impact and a 2-Generational Approach, as part of our strategies to shift the conversation on poverty from single programs to collaborative, cross-sector partnerships.

Our CORE work focuses on removing the barriers within and between systems that include:

  • Early Childhood Education
    Nurturing the early years has a profound effect on a child’s ability to learn, as well as overall health later in life.
  • Post-secondary and Employment Pathways
    Creating pathways for parents and caregivers to get additional training, education and work skills can lead to higher wages, benefits, and opportunities for advancement.
  • Economic Assets
    Even a relatively small increase in household income can have a significant impact on a child’s environment and future stability.
  • Health & Well-being
    Reducing adverse childhood experiences and increasing access to healthcare are imperative to any family’s ability to thrive.
  • Social Connections
    Meaningful relationships with family, friends, and neighbors are powerful social networks to help keep families healthy and functional.

United Way supports CORE Collaboratives in Snohomish County, made up of more than 100 community partners, through facilitating learning opportunities, encouraging thoughtful and responsible data use, facilitating connections between the partners, and advocating for policy changes at the local, state, and federal levels.

Meet Cami and Tisha to learn more about this CORE collaborative approach!

Want to learn more? Watch the rest of the videos in this series.