Columbia, MO – Heart of Missouri United Way announced their 2023-2025 Financial Stability Impact Investments today at City Hall as part of Live United Day. The Financial Stability Impact Investments will fund services that strengthen the financial stability and economic mobility of individuals and families who are financially vulnerable.

Heart of Missouri United Way will invest $300,000 annually in programs related to financial stability from 2023-2025, totaling $900,000. Eight financial stability programs at seven local agency partners are recipients of these funds.

 Love Columbia will receive funding for two programs, the Extra Mile and Side by Side programs.

Extra Mile

The goal of the Extra Mile program is to reduce financial fragility and promote upward economic mobility among low-income individuals in Columbia, Missouri. This goal will be accomplished by providing instruction to increase financial literacy and giving opportunity to practice new financial skills. Participants will be further helped through assistance to access available resources and, if needed, provided no interest loans to eliminate high interest debt.

Side by Side

The goal of the Side by Side Program is to increase stability and general well-being and reduce isolation and inertia of low-income individuals in Columbia through access to community resources and social capital by offering individualized housing, employment, and life purpose coaching. SBS addresses the struggles many in Columbia experience to achieve employment and housing stability to become financially self-sufficient.


Mid-Missouri Legal Services will receive funding for their Financial Stability Project.

 Financial Stability Project

The goal of the Financial Stability Project is to provide free legal education regarding consumer rights, employment, and expungements, and free legal representation to low-income people in order to help them preserve their income and achieve financial stability for their household.


United Community Builders will receive funding for their Transformations program. 


In the Transformations program clients establish goals for success in their personal and professional lives. Clients will be encouraged to maintain employment or continue their education and will be encouraged to develop supportive relationships. The Transformations program implements the Jobs for Life curriculum that provides proven techniques that will enable enrollees to obtain and maintain employment or secure a higher paying position. The program includes career assessment, in-class reading, class and group discussions, and required home assignments.


Central Missouri Community Action will receive funding for their Financial Opportunity Center.

 Financial Opportunity Center

The goal of the Financial Opportunity Center is to create long term relationships with the individuals we serve in the FOC, with a focus on three key areas: Employment Services, Financial Education/Coaching, and access to Income Supports. The FOC program is aligned with CMCA’s mission to empower people, strengthen resilience, and improve quality of life for all members of the community and the organization goal to increase income and net worth and decrease expenses of our FOC members to improve their overall economic stability.


 Services for Independent Living will receive funding for their Journey to Independence program. 

Journey to Independence

The goal of Journey to Independence is to minimize barriers to employment and enhance financial stability of people with disabilities. Through career exploration, job readiness education, and life skills trainings, our consumers will improve soft skills, cultivate work readiness skills, improve their financial literacy, and maximize their independence. We plan to enhance economic self-sufficiency and increase confidence in employment of people with disabilities. Journey to Independence will focus on providing job readiness skills, career exploration, and financial literacy education to promote financial stability and gain skills needed for employment.


Rock the Community will receive funding for their Rock the Workforce Program

Rock the Workforce Program

The goal of Rock the Workforce is to increase the financial stability of individuals who experience highest employment barriers by providing hands-on job readiness training, job coaching and financial literacy. RTW will grow and diversify a strong workforce and reduce opportunity gaps in workforce development and employment, strengthening our economy by reducing households in poverty. Rock the Workforce (RTW) will engage our target populations with an evidenced-based, 3 prong approach to meet stated goals: Job readiness training, employment support and financial literacy. After 2 years of operating our program in a pandemic, RTW has refined a successful program model assisting the target population to obtain and retain employment in the community while successfully managing their finances.



City of Refuge will receive funding for their Refugee Financial Stability program.

Refugee Financial Stability

The goal of the Refugee Financial Stability program is to  empower resettled refugees in Columbia, Missouri to achieve financial independence by helping them obtain employment, delivering education on household personal finance, providing individualized English language instruction, and assisting them in obtaining legal identification documents. We help them navigate a new life and become productive, successful, contributing members of our community.

 Two community member-based groups that are instrumental in the process of selecting the funded programs, the Heart of Missouri United Way Community Impact Committee, and the Advisory Council.

United Way improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of our community to advance the common good. We work with residents and public and private partners to co-create solutions that ensures everyone has the resources, support, opportunities, and networks they need to thrive.