The following is from Jackson County United Way of Jackson County, Indiana.


Getting out of poverty requires organization and cooperation. This is what Getting Ahead is about.                      —Philip DeVol, author of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World

“By the end of [Getting Ahead], our participants have actually developed a plan moving forward that they can take with them,” Jackson County United Way financial stability program manager Jena Hanks said. “It’s really building blocks for their next steps of where to go.”

Getting out of poverty, getting ahead, and staying ahead take hard work on the part of individuals, the community, and supporting organizations.

That is exactly what Jackson County United Way is working on: stability.

In fall 2021, Jackson County United Way conducted a Bridges Out of Poverty workshop. That led to the Getting Ahead program being offered locally in 2022. Bridges Out of Poverty is for professionals in the community. Getting Ahead is the same material—organized differently—that allows those living in daily instability to investigate life, community, and poverty and to decide where they want to improve their resources in the future. The participants decide the next steps in building resources and are supported by those in the community.

“Based on the good work already happening in the county and United Way’s internal programming, the [Bridges] workshop and Getting Ahead were the next logical steps,” Hanks said.

Jackson County United Way partnered with Anchor House, a community food pantry and homeless shelter in Seymour, Indiana. Jackson County United Way also received funding from the Community Foundation of Jackson County, Duke Energy Foundation, and Cummins Foundation.

The Jackson County United Fund was founded in 1962 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to find an easier and more efficient way to help social agencies in Jackson County, Indiana. Getting Ahead puts Jackson County United Way one step closer to reaching their bold goal “to move 1,000 struggling, working families into stability by 2030.”