Focus Area Goals & Resources

United Way of Madison County, Alabama LIVES UNITED for education, financial stability, and health.

Education

Impact Vision:

All children and youth gain skills to be job and life ready.

The Challenge:

In 2022, only 28% of fourth graders and 27.7% of eighth graders are proficient in math across 3 school systems.

2025 Community Goals

  • Community collaboration engaging diverse and passionate individuals and organizations
  • Partnering with expert nonprofits who provide significant services in early childhood, K-12 education, and beyond

Partners & Programs Supporting Education

United Way’s Born Learning Program – Provides families with preschool-aged children and the professionals who work with them, the necessary resources to prepare for kindergarten.

Heart of the Valley YMCA’s “Early Childhood Education” – Provides a safe, affordable, nurturing, and developmentally appropriate high-quality early learning environment that supports families and children ages 6 weeks to 5 years, moving toward school success.

Village of Promise’s “Promise Preparatory Early Childhood Development” – Provides high-quality, affordable, full-day early childhood education for infants through 4-year-olds, five days a week.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Alabama’s “Keep Kids Connected” – Inspires children to graduate from high school with a plan (enrollment, enlistment or employment) and provides a mentor that will make a lifelong impact.

Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama’s “Academic Success” – Engages children and youth with tools to grow academically and personally, through a nationally-proven model during “out of school”/”after school” time (plus exploration of careers and youth development).

The Care Center’s “Fuel Their Hunger to Learn” – Matches student needs to selected services such as individualized tutoring, supplemental weekend food support, pro-graduation focus, and increased experiences with technology for children 5 to 18 in rural southeastern Madison County communities.

Family Services Center’s “Family and Schools Together (FAST) Program” – A school-based prevention program, designed to strengthen families and enhance the educational experience for students while reducing incidents of child abuse and neglect.

Girls, Inc.’s “Comprehensive Program” – Educates and empowers girls by providing research-based programming thus inspiring all girls to be strong, smart, and bold.

Harris Home for Children’s “BOOST” – Closing the academic achievement gap associated with being in foster care and improving academic and life outcomes.

United Way’s “Next Futures Internship Program” – University students from various disciplines experience real-world learning while assisting United Way staff to respond to community needs.

United Way’s “Youth Leaders Council” – Develops the next generation of community leaders by building servant leadership and needs awareness among high-school-aged students.

The Arc of Madison County’s “Stepping Stones to Independence” – The ARC of Madison County’s “Stepping Stones to Independence Program” – Provides those with disabilities extensive support and opportunities to be a contributing part of the community by maximizing volunteering, community activities, and/or employment opportunities.

The Care Center’s “Ignite Your Potential Program” – A holistic, individualized approach to career and workforce development training for teens and young adults in rural southeastern Madison County.

Financial Stability

Impact Vision:

Create a robust collaborative pipeline to move people from a fragile to an independent, stable place financially.

The Challenge:

In 2022, 11.5% of Madison County individuals lived in poverty.

2025 Community Goals

Partners & Programs Supporting Financial Stability

The American Red Cross of North Alabama’s “Service to the Armed Forces” – Educates and provides services to active-duty military personnel as they plan for, cope with, and resolve crisis situations.

American Red Cross of North Alabama’s “Disaster Cycle Services” – Meets basic emergency needs, financial assistance, and referrals to help local families who experience home fires or are affected by other natural disasters.

Catholic Center of Concern’s “Emergency Financial Assistance” – Fosters financial stability for families in danger of losing housing, critical medications, clothing, baby essentials, or utility services due to emergency situations.

Christmas Charities Year Round’s “Mobile Closet” – An outreach program delivering clothing, hygiene items, and school supplies directly to children in need at their schools.

Family Services Center’s “Living in Family Transition (LIFT) Housing” – A program for homeless families and those who need affordable housing as a transition, with a strong emphasis on becoming self-sufficient through financial literacy, discipline, and accountability as pathways to independence.

Manna House’s “Personal Emergency Resources for Kids in Schools (PERKS)” – Provides healthy, kid-friendly, and ready-to-eat weekend backpacks of food each Friday afternoon for children who have inadequate amounts of food available to them while not in school.

North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless’ “Restore, Invest, Support, Empower (RISE) Program” – Provides a path to increased financial stability and sustainable housing through case management of clients who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

The Salvation Army’s “Extended Stay” – Helps individuals move from homeless to self-reliant members of our community by providing the tools and training needed to achieve independence.

Alabama Nonviolent Offenders Organization’s “Brighter Futures” – Removes barriers to re-entry into society for nonviolent offenders, who have paid their debt to society, through a strong case management support system, decreasing the rate of recidivism.

Phoenix – Improves the quality of life, self-sufficiency, and employability primarily for individuals with disabilities (evaluation services, job coaching & placement, and educational services in high schools).

Still Serving Veterans’ “Veteran Resource Connection Program” – Connects veterans and families with community resources, especially employment and related financial issues, combining a strong referral and case management delivery system.

United Way’s “RIDE UNITED Program” – FREE limited transportation for qualified rides to work and medical appointments.

United Way’s “FREE Tax Service” – Tax return services provided by certified staff and volunteers for qualifying Madison County residents. Residents may qualify if they fit in one of these 3 categories: Individual annual income of $25K or less, Family income of less than $54,000, or anyone over age 60.


Understanding that it’s a continuum and progressive process, several United Way partner agencies provide financial literacy training as a part of their programs receiving support from United Way, including:

  • Alabama Nonviolent Offenders,
  • The ARC of Madison County,
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama,
  • The Care Center,
  • Family Services Center,
  • Girls, Inc.,
  • Harris Home for Children,
  • Salvation Army
  • Village of Promise

Health

Impact Vision:

Empower individuals to take charge of their health so all are able to contribute fully.

The Challenge:

In 2022, 41,500 individuals lacked health insurance. Madison County experienced a 23% increase in opioid and heroin overdose mortality rates in 2021. 

2025 Community Goals

  • Lead initiatives to raise awareness around health disparities and address misinformation and stigma
  • Convene critical community partners and collaborators to establish “What will it take?” centers of innovation
  • Maximize investment with a blend of intervention and prevention programs to minimize or avoid trauma and adverse mental health outcomes when possible

Partners & Programs Supporting Health

United Way’s SingleCare Program – Partnering with SingleCare to provide access to affordable prescription medications ensuring greater health and financial stability.

The Community Free Dental Clinic’s “Critical Needs Care” – Provides uninsured adults free quality emergency/urgent responses in a dental crisis, coupled with dental health and hygiene education.

Family Services Center’s “Counseling Program” – Helps clients identify issues and develop healthy coping and communication strategies in an environment where they can openly discuss thoughts and feelings to improve their mental health.

HEALS, Inc.’s “Bright Smiles” – Provides underprivileged children aged birth to 19 years with access to dental care to optimize their opportunities for success in school and in life.

HEALS, Inc.’s “Healthy Kids/Healthy Eyes” – Gives underprivileged children aged birth to 19 years access to primary and vision care to optimize their opportunities for success in school and in life.

Impact America’s “Focus First” – Provides high-tech vision screenings for preschool-aged children as well as referrals, as needed, to affordable or subsidized follow-up care.

National Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Healthy Families of North Alabama” – Provides home visitation services to at-risk families. The parent education and support services are effective in preventing child abuse/neglect.

National Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Stop Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN)” – Provides child abuse prevention and safety information to school children. Topics include unsafe/inappropriate touching and social media/internet safety (including bullying).

New Hope Children’s Clinic’s “NOW Wellness Checks” – Provides well-check visits, in a school-based pediatrician’s office (newborn through 18 years of age)

Partnership for a Drug-Free Community – Provides youth drug, alcohol, and tobacco prevention and education, along with adult recovery resources.

United Cerebral Palsy of Huntsville/Tennessee Valley – Provides individuals with developmental, acquired, or aging disabilities and their families, with education, therapy, technology, and social services, enhancing their independence, quality of life, and community inclusion.

Crisis Services of North Alabama’s “HELPline” – Responds to crisis calls from individuals experiencing sexual assault, domestic violence, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and other personal crises.

Crisis Services of North Alabama’s “Intimate Partner Violence Program” – Provides safe shelter, crisis intervention, safety planning, lethality assessment, case management, court advocacy, and other services for intimate partner violence victims.

National Children’s Advocacy Center’s “Child Abuse Response Program” – Serves victims of child abuse and their families during the initial investigation and throughout the healing process.

ENABLE Madison County – Allows elderly and homebound individuals to age in place while remaining safe and independent in their homes through home safety checks, fall prevention, health education, wheelchair ramps, and transportation assistance to medical appointments.