Philadelphia Impact Fund from United Way.

Most of the resources from the Impact Fund are available as the result of referrals. They also usually fall under the funding levels of the United Way as well as all of their partner organizations. Staff and case managers from the Impact Fund and local organizations partner with the less fortunate to try to help them overcome their crisis and access longer term support.

The program is available for anyone to call. The Impact Fund provides linkages to resources, non-profits, charities and services in Philadelphia County. Throughout the region there are a number of social services and emergency assistance that ranges from utility bill help from LIHEAP, employment applications, rent assistance, housing referrals, financial management, PACE, and mortgage foreclosure counseling.

This group is really the local United Way which organizations these services in the county. So another key focus is on self-sufficiency and advocacy. Therefore staff and case managers work with the poor and low income individuals. They want clients to feel empowered to take ownership and responsibility for their lives and local communities. Qualified staff from the Impact Fund referral office will provide referrals to people. This is done so they can get the skills, support, and resources to take on issues important to them.

Partners are a key, as the organization can't help people on its own. Therefore the United Way partners with a wide variety of faith based and non-profit community based organizations, neighborhood advisory counsels, municipal departments, public officials, and local volunteers. Together they provide a series of programs to clients.

Family Services provided from Impact Fund and the United Way are referrals to LIHEAP applications. This is the main state of Pennsylvania and federal resource for paying winter heating costs.

They also offer resources directly from utility companies. These may be Customer Responsibility Program (CRP) with Philadelphia Gas Works. Other options in Philadelphia may be Customer Assistance Program from PECO, IRA tax preparation, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the Property Tax/Rent Rebate, and more. As indicated, referrals are a key service. So clients can get linage to places to turn to for emergency rental assistance, furniture, free food and clothing. For referrals to these and other resources in the city or county, dial the United Way service at 211.





Information is given from the United Way Impact Fund on many other resources. There is assistance for the disabled and homebound, such as meals being delivered and even help in applying for SSI. There is also assistance arranged for children from families living in poverty, such as applications to Head Start or child care vouchers. Those are just some of the resources.

Note that residents of Philadelphia County will not be given direct financial aid from the Impact Fund. Instead they will be given referrals to charities that may have grants or provide basic needs. Then the person will need to apply at that agency.

Employment programs, including WorkWise, provides barrier remediation and job training to individuals referred from the Philadelphia CAO, or County Assistance Offices. The Impact Fund from the United Way also has information on One Stop Job Centers in Philadelphia. The city, county, and state all really have the ambitious goal to prepare individuals for the world of work.

WorkWise offers those that qualify a comprehensive work ready type resource. The program empowers its customers to develop resources and skills that will help prepare them to enter or re-enter the work force. The primary goal is to really match customers with work activities that would render the customer ready to become employed.

The customers of any job placement program can expect to undergo skill assessments, aptitude testing, receive barrier remediation assistance, attend job readiness classes, as well as basic soft skills, computer and customer service training. Additionally, staff from WorkWise offer supplementary workshops and classes to further prepare our customers for the world of work.

Throughout the various employment assistance program, case managers and teachers assist the customers one-on-one. They work with them in addressing employment barriers and offer resources to empower people to move toward a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Case managers help customers identify suitable transportation allowances, child-care and other temporary financial assistance available from the County Assistance Office (CAO).




As clients of the United Way and their partners prepare themselves for employment, specialists identify and match qualified individuals with work activities including non-paid internships and employment opportunities. These so called Workforce Development Specialists in Philadelphia take pride in their ability to sell the match skilled workers positions. For more information on this or other job training resources in the area, telephone number is 211.


By Jon McNamara

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