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Community Goals

United Way's Community Goals

The 2011 community report documents critical concerns about the human condition in Champaign County. It also outlines a plan to address those concerns and promote changes that will improve the quality of life to many who struggle in our community. Focusing on issues and trends locally is vital for planning and effective decision-making. As United Way of Champaign County began to interview local leaders and professionals in education, healthcare, business, government, social service and the media we also gathered national, state, and local data. Seven key issues were identified and those issues are the basis for the goals set forth. The areas of concern included basic needs, housing and homelessness, family support and child care, education, access to health care, mental health and employment and the economy.

If you were to select 100 people randomly from Champaign County:

  • 10 would be over 65 and 6 would be under 5.
  • 74 would be White, 12 would be Black, 8 would be Asian, and 4 would be Hispanic
  • 1 would be a farmer, 8 would work in manufacturing, and 36 would work in education and healthcare. 
  • 6 would work for the University of Illinois, 2 as faculty and 4 as staff. 
  • 8 would be high school dropouts and 22 would have advanced degrees.
  • 10 would have no access to a vehicle.
  • 7 would be receiving food stamps.
  • 20 would be living below Federal Poverty guidelines

Community of Contrasts

While reviewing information for our community report, one of the members of our board of directors commented that Champaign County could best be described as a “community of contrasts”. The data we gathered, the interviews we conducted and the insights shared by our donors and volunteers indicate that this is a most precise description of this community.

  • Champaign County is the most highly educated county in Illinois and yet one third of the children entering kindergarten do not have the skills needed to learn.
  • The number of individuals with salaries exceeding $100,000 has grown 90% in the last ten years and yet we have the third highest extreme poverty rate in Illinois.
  • The average ACT score in Champaign County is higher than the state average but 61.5% of first year community college students are enrolled in remedial reading and math classes.  
  • We have world class regional medical providers and a College of Medicine in Champaign County and yet over 20% of residents do not have a permanent medical home.
  • In Champaign County recent crop cash receipts totaled more than $194 M and yet 19.73% of residents in the county struggle with hunger daily.
  • The unemployment rate in Champaign County is lower than the state or national rate and yet we have over 350 school age children who are homeless.

Community Goals

Examining these issues, the statistics and the implications for those affected, United Way developed a vision for Champaign County. Click each one to learn more about what United Way is doing to work towards meeting the goal. Our four Community Goals are:

Community Basics

            Individuals and families will benefit from an improved human condition in Champaign County.

Education

            Children and youth develop to their full potential and are equipped to become positive, contributing members of the community.

Health & Well-Being

            People have the resources, knowledge and support necessary to meet their physical and mental health needs.

Financial Stability

            Families and individuals will be financially secure and stable so they can meet their basic needs with hope and confidence for their future.

Building Blocks for a Good Life

Working with many community partners we will continue to look for the most effective ways to help people gain access to educational, economic and health related opportunities. The goals set forth here show our commitment to help all children and adults achieve the three essential building blocks of a good life: Education, Financial Stability and Health and Well-Being. By bringing together community leaders, health, education and human service professionals, business, government and the media we will create a core of partners and stakeholders who will change the human condition in Champaign County. Working together we can minimize the contrasts, we can create systematic change and we can assure a brighter future for all our residents.