Prosperity | United Way of Northern California
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The Prosperity Initiative is an ongoing effort to find and produce greater economic mobility opportunities for residents of Shasta County. Using collective impact framework, individuals and organizations have been working together to enhance youth development and enrichment, increase financial stability for families, and strengthen workforce development within the community. Our goal is to create a connected and vibrant community with a thriving economy that benefits all residents. 



This initiative was launched in 2014 by United Way of Northern California and the Shasta County Health & Human Services Department after observing a correlation between low income/ low educational attainment and negative outcomes for county residents on various measures of health. 

At the time, studies showed that:

  • 14.1% of Shasta County residents lived below the federal poverty level and 30% fell below the true measure of making ends meet in the county.
  • Shasta ranked 50th out of California’s 58 counties on overall health measures.
  • The county’s premature death rate was 45.3% higher than the state average and life expectancy was 4.3 years lower than the state average.
  • Median household income —$44,651— was 36.8% lower than the state average.
  • The percentage of residents holding at least a bachelor’s degree (18.8%) was 40% lower than the state average.

Improving financial stability for families was seen as a key step toward influencing other outcomes. United Way believed a comprehensive approach, informed by a cross-section of community leaders, would be necessary to life opportunities for all Shasta County residents. 


We recognize that the goals of Prosperity can only be achieved by coming together with like-minded partners committed to this effort.  We also know that in order to create lasting change, we must determine and address root cause issues.  We will do this by tackling the causes of poverty in a holistic and sustainable manner, while building on existing programs and strategies in our community with a proven success rate, affecting a greater number of our neighbors and communities.

This collective impact approach requires the commitment of a group of organizations — including nonprofits, government, business, and philanthropy — to coordinate their efforts around a clearly defined goal.

United Way of Northern California has pledged to coordinate fundraising and implementation activities in support of the Prosperity Initiative and envisions a three-year effort with financial and in-kind resources provided by a number of non-profits, along with banks, foundations and government agencies. 



The Prosperity Initiative is moving forward with several exciting new developments including progress on Bank On, Youth Enrichment, Youth Mentoring, the Interactive Youth Website and the Work Readiness Event.

Please see information below for complete update.

Program: NorCal Bank On

Classes are currently underway with partnerships involving three financial institutions and five community organizations. The first set of classes with Redding Bank of Commerce and Good News Rescue Mission began mid-April and had eight participants who successfully completed the modules. More classes are scheduled to begin in June. Our goal is to educate at least 50 people in 2017, with at least 25 opening Bank On accounts with our partner financial institutions. We look forward to educating people on the importance of good financial health. For more information, please contact:


Program: Sparkpoint Resource Center

Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency, in conjunction with Gateway Unified School District, United Way of Northern California and a host of other agencies, is currently in the planning phase and are looking at potential sites to develop a Sparkpoint Resource Center. As this program unfolds, more information will be posted about accessing these important financial assistance services.


Program: National Workforce Readiness Credential

United Way has secured funding for this program that helps low and moderate income individuals move into entry-level jobs. This credential program certifies that employees possess the knowledge and skills to succeed in the workplace. We will partner with employers and staffing companies to include the workforce readiness credential as a preferred qualification on job announcements.  


Program: Semi-Annual North State Work Readiness Forum

United Way in collaboration with Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency and the Smart Business Resource Center held a forum in March 2017 with 48 vendors to instruct people on first impressions, how to create a winning resume, dressing for success, etc. It was well attended by over 120 participants, more than double the number of previous year’s attendees. We look forward to creating an even larger and more successful event in Fall 2017. 



Program: Coordinate Youth Mentoring and Training

UWNC is working with Catalyst Mentoring to build a program in which the youth in our city are awakened to their unique purpose and potential through life-on-life mentoring. Currently, Catalyst Mentoring has recruited 133 of their 1,000 Mentors goal and has been able to place these individuals in programs throughout Shasta County. As the program grows, more youth will have access to quality mentors.

Program: Increased Funding for Youth Enrichment Programs

UNWC is partnering with several different youth enrichment programs such as the Y Club at Shasta Family YMCA. The Y Club offers a safe, nurturing atmosphere where kids can grow, develop and thrive. Another partner program is Launchpad 4 Kids, which directly impacts children in need by providing funds to an activity of the child’s choice. Programs like these help children build self-esteem and grow into responsible, caring individuals.

Program: Interactive Youth Website

The Youth Portal serves youth, parents and youth-focused agencies by pointing them to a variety of resources including social services, training programs, internships, scholarships and more. It can be accessed at:   




         DONATE- Any amount, large or small.

         VOLUNTEER- At any agency that supports families & youth

         BE A MENTOR- Our youth need positive adult role models

For the most recent information about the Prosperity Initiative visit our Pressroom Page.


If you are interested in learning more about The Prosperity Initiative please contact United Way of Northern California at 530-241-7521 or email