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Two young female presenting individuals wearing black shirts with United Way Bay Area branding smiling at the camera. Two young female presenting individuals wearing black shirts with United Way Bay Area branding smiling at the camera.

Contra Costa County

Making a Difference in Contra Costa County

Building a Stronger Safety Net


Welcome to our Contra Costa County page. Here we delve into the critical needs of our community and the collective efforts to create positive change. We are dedicated to addressing the pressing challenges faced by our fellow Contra Costa residents and fostering a stronger, more inclusive region.


Within the vibrant landscape of Contra Costa County, we recognize the need for food security, affordable housing, and vital social services. Through this page, we invite you to explore the data and information that form the foundation of our initiatives.


Together, we can help support individuals and families, and uplift the voices of the entire community, ensuring that everyone has a chance to thrive.

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We Are Stronger Together.


When Mohammad came to the Bay Area, he was in search of a better life in America. One of the reasons why he was selected to serve in the military was because he dreamed of bigger hopes and aspirations.


He came here in search of a better life with his two young sons on a special visa program for those who had supported U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq.


But he didn’t know where to go for help.


“You have to know the laws and customs to have a good life,” – Mohammad


Because of United Way Bay Area, Mohammad was able to connect with the vital services he needed.

33,410 individuals are food insecure

27,709 low-income renter households do not have access to an affordable home

$99,516 Real cost measure for a family of 4

The Need in Contra Costa County

Access to basic needs is difficult for many

82,544 households in Contra Costa County struggle to meet basic needs including paying for food and groceries, housing and utility bills; and keeping up with monthly car payments and other transportation costs.

The wealth gap is increasing

Among full time workers In Contra Costa County, the income of low-wage workers decreased 16% between 2000 and 2019, while high-wage workers' income increased 13%

Eviction rates are set to match or surpass yearly pre-pandemic levels

Contra Costa County had the highest eviction rate among counties in our region that have over 100,000 renters

Our Impact in the Community



A line of San Francisco houses against the San Francisco Skyline.

Housing Justice

(We mobilize support for solutions through public awareness and will-building, and advocate for policies that increase supply and improve conditions and access, while helping residents meet immediate housing needs.)


Building a Stronger Safety Net$175,000 was distributed to 6 organizations through the first year of our housing justice grants


Learn More About Our Housing Justice Initiatives


(Centers that provide one-stop access to a full range of services to move families towards financial prosperity.)


SparkPoint centers in Contra Costa County have served 2,756 individuals providing resources for basic needs, employment and career opportunities, and financial coaching.


Learn More About Our SparkPoint program

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A male presenting individual in dark blue construction gear with an orange helmet holding a stick that may be the handle of a tool.

Labor Justice

(We connect union workers and their families with basic needs resources, legal services, and workforce training opportunities, as well as hardship funds when necessary.)


The Contra Costa Labor Community Services team provided 4,000 referrals to basic needs and community resources in Contra Costa County


Learn More About our Labor Partnerships

Explore the Data

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The Real Cost Measure


United Ways of California, in partnership with California’s 29 local United Ways, is proud to release How Much it Costs to Struggle: The Real Cost Measure in California 2023, a study on what it takes to make ends meet in California.


Unlike the official poverty measure which primarily accounts for the cost of food, the Real Cost Measure factors the costs of housing, food, health care, childcare, transportation and other basic needs to reveal what it really costs to live in California.

Explore our Real Cost Measure dashboard
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211 Bay Area


(A free, vital service that connects callers with health and human services (food, shelter, childcare, legal services))


2-1-1 phone and text services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are available in 150 languages through phone interpretation services and English and Spanish for text services.

Explore our 211 Dashboard

Contra Costa County Impact Sheet


We have a wealth of information to share. Our Contra Costa County Infographic delves into the needs of the county and what we are doing to address it.


Sign-Up and Access Our Impact Sheet

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Sign-Up and Access All County Impact Sheets


These “Impact Fact Sheets” summarize the key findings of the needs in each of our 8 Bay Area Counties that we serve and our collective community impact so you can quickly access this important information.


Bay Area Impact Analysis By County


We have been working to alleviate poverty across our eight‐county region for a century. We invite you to learn more about our work, our relationships.


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Alameda County

116,630 individuals are experiencing food insecurity in Alameda County alone.

See Alameda’s Need

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Contra Costa County

27,709 renter-households with low incomes DO NOT have access to an affordable home.

See Contra Costa’s Need

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Marin County

40,404 households in Marin County spend more than 30% of household income on rent.

See Marin County’s Need

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Napa County

Full-time income for workers in low-wage jobs decreased 10% between 2000 and 2019, while high-wage job income increased 13%.

See Napa County’s Need

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San Francisco County

A typical family of four needs $127,332 just to meet basic needs. The median income for SF residents is $119,136.

See San Francisco’s Need

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San Mateo County

33,374 individuals have been served through UWBA programs – that’s nearly twice the seating capacity of the Chase Center.

See San Mateo’s Need

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Santa Clara County

27,400 children are experiencing food insecurity.

See Santa Clara’s Need

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Solano County

54,584 households are housing burdened, spending more than 30% of household income on rent.

See Solano County’s Need

Partner Agencies


  • Catholic Charities of the East Bay
  • CocoKids – Fiscal Sponsor for Healthy & Active Before 5*
  • Community Housing Development Corporation*
  • Contra Costa Crisis Center*
  • Contra Costa Labor Council
  • Diablo Valley College
  • District Council Contra Costa County Society of St. Vincent de Paul*
  • Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano
  • Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP)
  • John Burton Advocates for Youth*
  • Mayor Tom Butt’s Office
  • Monument Crisis Center
  • Monument Impact*
  • Pacific Community Services*
  • Richmond Community Foundation*
  • Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc*
  • Rubicon Programs*
  • Shelter Inc.*
  • St. Vincent de Paul of Contra Costa County
  • Trinity Center
  • Winter Nights Family Shelter


* UWBA Grantees

Make a Difference


We have been working to alleviate poverty across our eight‐county region for a century. We invite you to learn more about our work, our relationships.


Support Our Region

Now that you know the need, support our region and make a difference today!


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Partner With Us On Your CSR Goals

Find out how we can partner to amplify your community support and create a lasting impact together.


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Your Voice Matters

Raise your voice and advocate for policy measures that drive positive change and uplift the needs of our community.


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Contra Costa Quiz

True or False, Contra Costa County had the highest eviction rate among counties in our region that have over 100,000 renters?

About what is the Real Cost Measure for residents?