For over 30 years, United Way Bay Area has been a partner and thought leader in providing basic needs like food, rental assistance, and emergency funding to struggling people throughout our region. One of our biggest success stories lies in the formation of the Emergency Assistance Network (EAN) of Silicon Valley, which provides emergency services to people in need.
More than 30 years ago, a small number of local nonprofits delivered many of the same services. For someone in need, not knowing exactly where to turn or who to call for food or help with the bills became a barrier to receiving assistance. Moreover, duplicated efforts meant fewer clients could be served.
United Way brought multiple stakeholders to the table to help coordinate a region-wide response. A geographic network was created to provide assistance based on zip code. Organizations would refer clients to their closest agency so that they could focus on their local community.
United Way also helped establish specific criteria for organizations to call themselves an EAN, and to receive grant funding from United Way for specific kinds of programs. This streamlined the funding process,, and made it easier for known agencies to receive the money they needed. Because time is money too, staffers could spend more hours on additional fundraising efforts within their respective organizations.
Our deep connections to local nonprofits as well as our technical expertise with these kinds of operations have been pivotal in helping the Bay Area in this urgent time of need.