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What Makes a Neighborhood Healthy?

Healthy children and families. Thriving economic conditions. Quality education options. It’s all these things and more that give a community the power to shine.


From helping families become financially stable and find affordable housing to preparing children to enter school ready to learn and read, United Way has always been about neighbors helping neighbors.


Every day, we’re working to build more vibrant and connected neighborhoods rich in opportunity, where thousands of families across our region can break the cycle of poverty.


“When a child’s born in Charlotte today, the unfortunate reality is that we can predict with pretty good accuracy what that child’s outcomes are going to be,” said Laura Clark, United Way of Central Carolinas president and CEO. “It shouldn’t be that way; we shouldn’t know on the day someone’s born where they’re likely to land in life.”


A Strong Neighborhood Has…


  • Stable housing
  • Access to health care
  • Healthy food options
  • High-quality early childhood education
  • Good schools
  • Out-of-school programs
  • Job training and employment opportunities
  • Safe streets
  • Neighbors who care


United Way’s United Neighborhoods launched in 2017 with a $2.4 million commitment over three years into the Renaissance and Grier Heights neighborhoods in Charlotte. This year, the initiative expanded with six Block Building Grants for neighborhoods including Brookhill, Hidden Valley, Lakewood, Smithville, West Boulevard Corridor and an effort focused on Freedom Drive.


Working with a lead partner in each community, United Way funds and guides efforts to build thriving communities where people want to live.


“We want to drive through all our neighborhoods and see children outside laughing and playing. We want to see neighbors interacting with each other. We want to see families out at the ball fields on weekends,” Clark said. “Those are the things that really matter. Those are the things that are really signals that something is working.”


Want to Help Strengthen Our Neighborhoods?


Help us continue to change the odds for people living in our region’s most under-resourced neighborhoods by donating to United Way or volunteering through our Hands On Charlotte team.