United Way of Central Carolinas is honored to partner with The Gambrell Foundation on United Neighborhoods, a comprehensive initiative launched by this agency that supports greater economic mobility for residents of Charlotte’s most under-resourced neighborhoods.

The Gambrell Foundation funding – $100,000 per year for five years – serves as a foundation for sustaining United Way’s multi-year commitment to two neighborhoods, Grier Heights and Renaissance West.

With support from The Gambrell Foundation, United Way funds two community quarterback organizations that lead revitalization efforts: CrossRoads Corporation for Affordable Housing and Community Development in Grier Heights and Renaissance West Community Initiative in Renaissance West. United Way’s funding ensures each organization can attract and retain the talent needed to remain focused on resident engagement and neighborhood revitalization.

United Way also funds a community grants pool. Residents identify desired neighborhood services at community meetings, and we work with the community quarterbacks to identify and invite service providers to submit grants.

United Way convenes residents and stakeholders to serve on grant review panels that make funding recommendations. Through this grant process, neighborhood residents have the opportunity to access vital services that promote the health, education and financial stability of children and families – all offered in their own neighborhoods.

United Way benefits from The Gambrell Foundation’s broad commitment to advancing economic mobility and racial equity in Charlotte-Mecklenburg. Most notably, United Way led an effort to secure funding to strengthen our community’s capacity to understand whether the work being done by our nonprofit agencies is positively impacting children and families and laying the foundation for greater economic mobility.

With support from The Duke Endowment, Foundation for the Carolinas and Wells Fargo, United Way is funding two graduate fellowships at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year, these two graduate students will work directly with CrossRoads Corporation and a group of the agencies funded by the community grants process.

The graduate students will help develop a strategy for evaluating the holistic impact of the agencies’ shared efforts, particularly the efforts to promote early care and education of children from birth to age eight and their families.

A third UNC-Charlotte student, funded by a grant from The Gambrell Foundation to the Urban Institute, will expand upon the work of these graduate fellows by analyzing data collected by all nonprofit partners working in Grier Heights. The long-term goal is to equip these nonprofits to entrust their data in an integrated database, allowing for robust, long-term evaluation of our efforts to promote economic mobility.

United Way proudly serves as a funder, thought leader, and community convener to advance economic mobility in Charlotte and the surrounding community. We cannot do our work alone and celebrate our partnership with The Gambrell Foundation.