Bergen County’s United Way has been serving New Jersey for over 50 years. In its early years, the organization provided a safe and simple way for people to donate to the non-profit of their choice, while also providing referral services and financial assistance to community members in need.
Through The Compassion Fund, the organization was able to provide timely financial assistance, like when eviction was imminent or utilities had been turned off. However, one need consistently arose that the organization could not address: a lack of housing that people could afford. It became clear that, across the county, people were living in unstable, unsafe and unsustainable conditions.
In 2005, Bergen County’s United Way responded to the statewide housing crisis by shifting its mission to building homes that people could afford. The organization focused primarily on building homes for individuals with low-income such as seniors, veterans and those with physical and developmental disabilities.
The key to success has been the organization’s focus on high-quality, sustainable developments that take on the aesthetic of their neighborhood. Our award-winning designs are built throughout the county, yet most people are unaware of their “affordable” designation.
While Bergen County’s United Way has met with great success in its new mission, the organization continues to support those community members facing an urgent financial crisis through 2-1-1 and The Compassion Fund. It is the organization’s belief that a comprehensive approach such as this is necessary to truly make an impact.
We place great importance on inclusion and strive to be equitable in all that we do.