Valley of the Sun United Way announced its Mighty Change plan. It is a five-year strategy that shines a spotlight on key needs in Maricopa County with a strategic focus on health, housing and homelessness, education, and workforce development.
One of the major goals is to slash homelessness in half by 2025. Thankfully, an unexpected $25M gift from philanthropist, author, and Amazon co-founder MacKenzie Scott along with help from local donors will help them achieve these bold goals.
We talked about all this with Carla Vargas Jasa, the President, and CEO of the Valley of the Sun United Way. She said when Covid-19 hit they had to pause their efforts.
She explained after town halls and talking with partners, they arrived at a plan. The plan is all about change and making sure that everyone has a home.
They will also be looking at education. Their goal is to make sure that all children are reading at grade level by third grade. They also will be looking at older kids and making sure they are connected to education so they can succeed as adults in the community.
They are also looking at providing food for people that need it, and helping people get back to work or getting better-paying jobs. She said they are realigning all their funding and what they are doing to fit around their goals.
She said they will ensure these things happen by working with their nonprofit partners, creating interventions, supporting parents (so the children have good teachers at home), and getting all of the corporate partners “marching” in the same direction.
We talked about how she came up with the numbers for the goals. She said the community input helped them set these levels. She explained that they developed these goals based upon existing metrics and progress meters. She said she looks forward to meeting them.