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10 Year Goal: Financial Empowerment


No matter the economic climate, it is difficult for many of our local neighbors to make ends meet on a daily basis, let alone make economic progress.

Individuals and families also need access to the tools needed to increase income, build savings, and gain and sustain assets. United Way is a critical part of both efforts - ensuring that families have the basics to achieve an independent lifestyle and financial stability.

 For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to make ends meet or save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way of Santa Barbara County is here to help.

Our Goal

In 2010, United Way of Santa Barbara County launched a 10-year Financial Stability Initiative to accomplish the following goals:

  • Increase by 50% the number of lower income families who are financially stable.
  • Increase by 30% the number of seniors, and their families, who report feeling safer in their homes and neighborhoods.

These important community goals require the integrated assistance of businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, education, and the community at large.

Our Strategy

To address the obstacles that prevent hard working families from getting ahead financially, we launched the Financial Stability Initiative to promote community-change strategies to help families meet their basic needs, while gaining the financial capability to plan for, and accomplish, their long-term financial goals. 

Our Programs

#529 College Savings Plans

Affordable Housing Partnerships

Community Eviction Assistance Programs

EITC: Earned Income Tax Credit

Emergency Savings Accounts

Family Senior Caregiver Respite Programs

Financial Empowerment Partnership

Financial Literacy Training and Workshops

Mega Tax Day

Senior Caregiver Coalition

VITA - Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

How You Can Help

Volunteers make United Ways’ tax assistance and financial education programs possible. We need your help, even if you don’t have an accounting background. Volunteer now to help.

Partners Include:

American Indian Health & Services - Art From Scrap - Assistance League of Santa Barbara - Cancer Center of Santa Barbara - Carpinteria Unified School District - City of Santa Barbara - City of Santa Maria - Community Action Commission - Cornelia Moore Dental Foundation - Cottage Hospital - Easy Lift - Family Service Agency - Foodbank of Santa Barbara County - Goleta Union School Districts - Guadalupe Dunes Center Collaborative - Montecito Bank & Trust - Santa Barbara Bank & Trust - Santa Barbara City College - Santa Barbara Museum of Art - Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History - Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics - Santa Barbara Unified School Districts - UCSB - Wells Fargo Bank - Westmont College - Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara - Plus dozens more!

For more information, contact Melinda Cabrera, Community Impact Officer, at 805-965-8591 x121 or