Innovative Community Collaborations

United Way is in the collaboration business! Partnered solutions measurably impact the big challenges our community faces. We encourage partnerships and initiatives that address specific challenges related to poverty to help our neighbors in need and have a community-wide impact.

Many entrenched social problems in our community cannot be solved by a single organization. We all must work together to address those challenges, help our neighbors and build a stronger community.

United Way of Pierce County encourages partnerships among our partner agencies and considers investments in nonprofit collaborations that have a community-wide impact and meet the following criteria:

  • Community Challenge
  • Collaborators
  • Shared Goal
  • Communication
  • Diverse Funding



The Siemer Institute Family Stability (SIFS) Program Model. 

The Siemer Institute Family Stability (SIFS) Program Model. The Siemer Institute collaborates with funded partners across the country to enhance children's academic success. United Way of Pierce County collaborates with service providers from Tacoma Housing Authority to implement family stability programs in response to unique community needs. Siemer recognizes that some families may require more intensive case management to achieve stability, while others may only need a lighter touch or intervention. The SIFS program allows communities the flexibility to tailor their family stability programs as needed. However, every successful SIFS program shares the following essential components: 

  1. Serving a number of families proportionate to the Siemer program's investment. 
  2. Achieving program outcomes successfully, including increased income, housing stability, and school stability. 
  3. Ensuring successful completion of the family program, enabling more families to attain stability." 




Pierce County Human Services and the Metropolitan Development Council (MDC) Community Action Programs are conducting a comprehensive assessment to identify strengths, barriers, and resources in the community to meet the needs of children, youth and families. Take the self assessment.



Financial Opportunity Center®  (FOC) sites offer career and financial coaching programs to families living on a low- to moderate-income so they can build effective money habits and focus on the financial bottom line to reach their goals. LISC has a network of more than 120 FOC sites across the country, embedded in local community organizations that are trusted, known for their history of providing quality services, and convenient to where people live and seek out service




Creative Approaches to Reduce Poverty through Community Engagement

We are seeking creative approaches via an innovation challenge that provides funding, support and recognition to individuals and community-led groups who have big ideas that address family financial instability. Participants will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to the community for potential funding and additional support.

Learn more… 


Collectively providing food for hungry children and families

Food insecurity is a huge problem in our area, and we know that we can’t face it alone. We have partnered with several organizations in our area to tackle it from
all angles, including Emergency Food Network (EFN), Nourish Pierce County, WSU Extension, Peninsula Community Foundation, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department,
St. Leo’s Food Connection and local farmer’s markets. Together, this Hunger-Free Pierce County collaborative identifies and fills in gaps that will make the system providing food
to our citizens more effective.

Together, we have:

  • purchased refrigerated vans to expand summer meal site services, perishable food pick up and increase food delivery in challenged areas;
  • assisted in a program that distributes crockpots to low-income families 
  • connected more families to food through Farmer’s Market matching vouchers 
  • provided funding for an outreach person to help families sign up for SNAP benefits 
  • continued to extend the reach of local backpack programs, such as PowerPack, which addresses child hunger 
  • and invested in an additional hoop house for EFN’s Mother Earth Farm for year-round production to increase fresh, healthy foods for local food system


Willie Stewart Awards