Select Page


UWM will ensure that by 2025, over two million services addressing basic needs will be delivered to our neighbors living in or at risk of poverty.

The Challenge

In the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro, more than 100,000 people live below the federal poverty level. Thousands more live at risk of poverty. Ensuring critical supports are available for these individuals has always been at the heart of UWM’s mission. We know that when families receive crisis supports and can access the resources they need to live healthy lives, children are more likely to stay on track in school and adults are more likely to be productive at work.



Social determinants of health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship and age that affect a wide range of health outcomes.



Food insecurity can be defined as a lack of consistent access to the food needed for an active, healthy life. About one in seven individuals experience food insecurity in our community.



Families who spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.



Parenting can be challenging for individuals less likely to have resources, knowledge or examples to draw from. Differences in parenting can significantly impact outcomes for low-income children.



Adverse Childhood Experiences are stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect, that occur during childhood. Trauma and chronic stress put individuals at higher risk of chronic disease and can make individuals less able to solve problems, cope with adversity and achieve success.



Access can be defined as 1) getting entry into the system, 2) accessing a location that provides the needed services and 3) developing trust with the provider. Some area residents experience difficulty or delay in obtaining services.


When families have stable food, housing and healthcare supports, children are more likely to stay on track in school and adults are more likely to be productive at work, creating a clear path to opportunity for generations to come.


  • Provide access to a coordinated and fully-integrated system that improves access to emergency shelter, emergency food and/or crisis interventions.
  • Employ formal screening procedures to identify and meet client needs.
  • Provide access to immediate safe shelter and support services for individuals and families impacted by violence.
  • Support the provision of high-quality healthcare and wrap-around services across the lifespan to individuals living in or at risk of poverty, with an emphasis on preventive services.
  • Provide mental health services for at-risk populations through trauma-informed practices.
  • Increase knowledge and skills regarding nutrition and preparation of healthy foods.
  • Increase the availability of nutritious food in food insecure locations and populations.
  • Increase knowledge and skills of healthy parenting and childhood development.
  • Healthy Food for All – A Community Food Security Plan for Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties
Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

There were more than 1,800 substantiated cases of child abuse or neglect across Douglas, Sarpy, and Pottawattamie counties in 2015.

Annie Casey Foundation / Kids Count Reports for Nebraska and Iowa.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

105,270 people in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, and Pottawattamie counties struggle with putting food on their table.

¹2015, Based on data food insecurity rate estimates obtained from Feeding America.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

911 took 16,866 calls pertaining to domestic violence in 2015.

2015, Domestic Violence Fact Sheet published by the Domestic Violence Council of Omaha

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

Approximately 300,000 residents (33.9%) of Omaha Council Bluffs residents have had difficulty or delay in obtaining health care services in the past year.

2015, From the Community Health Needs Assessment.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

More than 1,500 people in the metro are homeless on any given night.

2015, MACCH 2016 Annual Report

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

12.3% of youth in Nebraska, and 11.9% of youth in Iowa have experienced a Major Depressive Episode, but only 35.5% in Nebraska and 50.9% of them reported receiving treatment.

2015, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Behavioral Health Barometer: Nebraska 2015. & Behavioral Health Barometer: Iowa 2015.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

More than 50,000 people in our community spend more than 30% of their total household income on rent.

2015, Gross Rent as a Percentage of Household Income (GRAPI) from the American Community Survey, 2015 5-year Estimates, DP04 – Selected Housing Characteristics.

Right Now in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metro:

4.4% of adults in Nebraska and 4.2% of adults in Iowa report having a serious mental illness in the past year which would translate to almost 28,000 adults in the Omaha-Council Bluffs community.

2015, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Behavioral Health Barometer: Nebraska 2015. & Behavioral Health Barometer: Iowa 2015

Basic Needs
Crisis Intervention Investments
Access and Referral

UWM’s access and referral investments connect individuals and families in need with community resources that can assist.

Crisis Food

Because one in seven individuals lacks reliable access to food, UWM invests in programs that provide food for those in immediate need.


Because many people with low incomes are at risk of homelessness, UWM invests in programs that provide immediate short-term shelter.

Transitional Housing

UWM’s investments promote stability by helping individuals and families move toward more permanent housing.

Basic Needs
Health Investments
Physical Health

UWM’s investments support positive health outcomes by influencing the environment and behaviors that allow people to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

Behavioral Health

By investing in programs that provide mental health services on a sliding fee scale, UWM provides accessible opportunities for individuals to strengthen their resiliency, ensuring they can navigate life’s challenges today and in the future.

Healthy Food

UWM invests in programs that increase the availability of nutritious food in our community and promote learning around nutrition and healthy food preparation.

Family Supports

UWM invests in programs that provide parenting education and home visits in order to set families up for success from the start.

Other Investment


Combined Health Agencies Drive (CHAD) provides funding to member charities for innovative research to improve lives and offers critical client services, education and prevention programs within our community.

CHAD Agencies

• The ALS Association Mid-America Chapter
• Alzheimer’s Association Nebraska Chapter
• American Lung Association in Nebraska
• Arthritis Foundation Nebraska
• Autism Action Partnership
• Brain Injury Alliance of Nebraska
• Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Nebraska/Iowa Chapter

• Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Nebraska Chapter
• JDRF – Heartland Chapter
• Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Nebraska Chapter
• March of Dimes, Nebraska & Western Iowa Market
• Muscular Dystrophy Association of Nebraska
• National MS Society – Mid America Chapter
• Nebraska AIDS Project

• Nebraska Chapter of the National Hemophilia Foundation
• Nebraska Community Blood Bank
• Nebraska Hospice and Palliative Care Association
• Nebraska Kidney Association
• Susan G. Komen® Great Plains
• Team Jack Foundation
• United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska

From Our Blog

Health Hero Giving Day

YOU can be a health hero on Health Hero Giving Day, February 24, 2021!   People impacted by life-altering health diagnoses need your help. By making a gift on Health Hero Giving Day, hosted by United Way of the Midlands and the Combined Health Agencies Drive on...

read more

Community Spotlight: Domestic Violence

UWM joins community efforts to spread domestic violence awareness in October Often overlooked or misunderstood, domestic violence is a community health issue that impacts one in three women and one in seven men in our metro. Last year local organizations received more...

read more

Happy Mother’s Day

Moms Deserve Our Thanks, and Our Help.   All over the world, mothers are dedicated to building a better future for their children. And United Way of the Midlands has their backs. The community spirit that drives our mission is inspired by the boundless love and...

read more

“Silence the Growl” Food Tour

"Silence the Growl" Food Tour Help United Way of the Midlands take a bite out of summer hunger and enjoy delicious food for a good cause. We are partnering with local restaurants for the "Silence the Growl" Food Tour to combat summer hunger. When you dine at the...

read more

Community Spotlight: Summer Hunger

"Silence the Growl" for those who experience summer hunger. When we think of summer, we usually think of fun in the sun, swimming pools, cook-outs and vacations. But for some, this may not be an easy time of the year. People who struggle to get food for their families...

read more

Women’s History Month

Empowering women through leadership and strategic investments. March is a busy month! It’s a time when people are in the throes of filing their taxes, planning spring break with the family and getting excited about the upcoming warm weather. This month is also time...

read more

Community Spotlight: Celebrating the 2-1-1 Helpline

Connecting people to services that will help them live their best life! There's much to celebrate! On February 11th, United Way's 2-1-1 Helpline celebrates "2-1-1 Day" and 15 years of service to Nebraska and Southwest Iowa.  The 2-1-1 helpline, managed by United Way...

read more

2-1-1 Helpline Provides Local Resources in the Metro Area

The 2-1-1 helpline is increasing access for those in need throughout Nebraska and Southwest Iowa by providing free connections to local services through text message. Users can now connect to an information and referral specialist by texting their zip code to 898211....

read more

United Way of the Midlands   |   2201 Farnam Street   |   Omaha, NE 68102   |   402-342-8232

Social Responsibility & Privacy Policy   |   Contact Us   |   211 Helpline   |   Donate   |   Volunteer

Copyright 2021 - All Rights Reserved