A message from the President & CEO

It seems there is a lot of talk these days about things that divide us.

At United Way of Northern California, we believe it is time instead to rally around those things that unite us.

Here in the North State, we are a lot more alike than we are different. We share common values. For example, we believe in hard work; in decency and respect; in human dignity. We believe all of us should have the opportunity for quality health, education and financial stability. Above all, when times are tough for our neighbors, we believe in rolling up our sleeves and lending a hand.

Our staff and volunteers see “United Way” as more than a name – those words describe who we are and how we operate. They represent a commitment to bringing people together. They represent a belief that we should work collaboratively with others to find win-win solutions that lift the entire community, not just particular segments.

At United Way, we are standing up for working families, for kids, for human dignity, for health and wellness – and for our community’s future. We want you to join us in this effort – to mobilize around positive activities that all good-hearted people agree can make a difference in creating better lives in the North State.

What are you UNITED FOR? Let us know through our social media campaign, or email me at We commit to using this dialogue as a springboard to action that allows all of us to join in creating positive change.


Larry Olmstead

Throughout Shasta and surrounding counties you will see our "UNITED FOR" posters, which showcase the work United Way of Northern California is doing in our community. Learn more about each message below and show us what YOU are "UNITED FOR" by participating in the UNITED FOR selfie challenge! Download THIS PLEDGE FORM, snap a photo with it and upload to social media using hashtag #UnitedForUWNC.


UNITED FOR: Dignity & Respect

In the current climate, many Americans see our country divided over values and politics. United Way believes we are more alike than different.

Every day, our agency works with businesses, government, non-profit agencies and regular citizens, all striving to improve lives in our community – regardless of race, background, sexual orientation, gender identity or other experiences. The promise of opportunity for all is a core value of our nation.

United Way of Northern California supports opportunities for all through providing pathways for youth development, financial stability and funding programs that support diversity throughout our community. These programs include after-school programs through Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County, the Mohawk Community Resource Center in Plumas County, providing meals for senior citizens through the Golden Age Center in Trinity County and much more.

At United Way, we believe that treating everyone with dignity and respect goes a long way toward creating those opportunities and strengthening our society.

Let’s UNITE around that.



After school, many children in our community come home to an environment where education takes a back seat to basic needs. United Way works to provide opportunities to low-income children, funding after-school and mentoring programs in our community through Catalyst MentoringShasta Family YMCABoy Scouts of America- Golden EmpireHmong Cultural Center of Butte CountyAnderson Teen CenterCrossfit Redding Youth Athletic Club (CRYAC)Tehama County Police Activities League (PALS) and more. These programs give our youth confidence and increased self-worth, enhancing their opportunities to succeed. 

Additionally, United Way of Northern California celebrates youth programs and leaders each year with the Breakfast of Champions, which honors hardworking individuals, non-profit organizations and businesses with the "Champion of Youth" awards. At the 2017 award ceremony we presented a $5,000 grant to Eagles Soar Youth Activity Center (ESYAC), a Redding after-school program that serves children of impoverished families, many of whom live in trailers and hotels. This grant was made on behalf of the Prosperity Initiative, which supports youth development, workforce readiness and financial stability for Shasta County residents. 


UNITED FOR: Wellness

United Way believes that everyone in our community deserves access to affordable and quality care – whether that means health insurance for kids, programs that combat abuse or support for those struggling with mental illness.

That’s why we operate the 24-hour 2-1-1- helpline and award grants to mental health and crisis organizations throughout the North State.

United Way of Northern California helps fund Empire Recovery Center’s detox program, reduced fee counseling services through Family Service Agency of Tehama County (Family Counseling Center), Lassen Family Services’ Domestic Violence Program, Rape Crisis Intervention & PreventionSiskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis Center and Unity in Recovery’s Unity House.

United Way provides 2-1-1 NorCal, which connects Shasta and Tehama County residents to health and human service. In addition to operating this services, UWNC provides funding to Help Central, Inc., which operates the 2-1-1- helpline for Butte County residents

United Way is providing solutions that help everyone thrive, creating healthier communities and improving quality of life for North State residents.


UNITED FOR: Our Neighbors Without Homes

Being homeless is not a crime, it's a call for help. At United Way we answer that call, helping to provide the resources people need to pull themselves out of homelessness and onto a path of self-sufficiency.

As many as 3,000 people are in and out of homelessness in Shasta County each year. Additionally, Chico and other communities throughout our nine-county region have been impacted with this complex community issue. United Way is a community leader in providing resources and promoting human dignity for those who need shelter.

In 2017, our 2-1-1 helpline assisted more than 1,200 callers seeking housing resources and United Way is a member of the Shasta County Continuum of Care, a local panel made up of nonprofits and government agencies that provide housing and other services to move people off the street. United Way also serves as a fiscal sponsor for several organizations working to homeless-centered organizations including: The Redding Area Homelessness Coalition Project (RAHCP), led by Council Member Kristen Schreder, which produced a strategic plan to address homelessness in Shasta County and continues work to streamline and improve coordination of services in the area; Homeless Rock Stars, which stages events that allow homeless youth to interact with others in the community in a way that underscores confidence and humanity; and Bridges to Housing which gets chronically homeless people into temporary housing where they can work with medical personnel and case managers towards permanent solutions.

Additionally, United Way also provides grants to partner agencies serving the homeless population, including: Help Central, Inc. (Butte 2-1-1)Torres Community ShelterNorthern Valley Catholic Social Service (NVCSS) and P.A.T.H. Tehama County.


UNITED FOR: Working Families

Thirty percent of Shasta County families are struggling to make ends meet. Often they must work three or four jobs to reach self-sufficiency. United Way is dedicated to helping our community through Prosperity Initiative financial stability programs and by granting funds to organizations that provide basic needs and after-school care for children.

United Way of Northern California provides funding to after school & youth enrichment programs like the Reaching Academic Success (R.A.S.) program at Anderson Teen CenterBoy Scouts of America- Golden Empire CouncilCatalyst MentoringCrossfit Redding Youth Athletic Club (CRYAC)Hmong Cultural Center of Butte County’s Koomtes Youths Program, Plumas Rural Services Mohawk Community Resource Center, Shasta Family YMCA Y Club, Tehama County Police Activities League (PAL)  Martial Arts Program, Turtle Bay Exploration Park’s Teen Volunteer Program and Youth Violence Prevention Council of Shasta County (YVPC) Youth Peer Court.

United Way also funds programs that focus on basic needs like the Family Emergency Fund through Disability Action Center, which provides financial assistance to families and individuals who are homeless or on the verge of being homeless; the Golden Age Center’s Senior Nutrition Program, which provides meals to Trinity County seniors; and Shingletown Medical Center’s Emergency Food Closet.

With your help we give families access to resources that provide a quality life for themselves and their children. 


UNITED FOR: Second Chances

We all have a stake in the success of individuals within our community. At United Way we give a hand-up to those who are working to make a better life for themselves. We fund programs that provide transitional housing (Torres Community ShelterUnity in RecoverySiskiyou Domestic Violence & Crisis CenterP.A.T.H. Tehama CountyNorthern Valley Catholic Social Service- NVCSSHuman Response Network), vocational training (Shasta Builders' Exchange- The Trade School), mental health (Help Central, Inc.Rape Crisis Intervention & PreventionFamily Service Agency of Tehama CountyLassen Family Services), drug rehabilitation (Empire Recovery Center) and more.

Through the Prosperity Initiative, we provide semi-annual workforce readiness events and NorCal Bank On, which provides mainstream bank access and financial education to Shasta County residents. 

It's never too late to change a life and with your help, we are able to provide pathways to stability for all residents.


UNITED FOR: Everyone

At United Way, we fight for all people in our community and work with residents from all walks of life to craft solutions to the problems we face. We believe that communities make the most progress when every person can contribute and share ideas while having their basic rights and dignity respected.

To live better, we must LIVE UNITED.

In addition to funding programs that better our community for ALL residents, United Way is at the center of conversations about key community issues such as helping residents make ends meet and homelessness. Through the Prosperity Initiative, we have worked with individuals, community leaders and businesses to implement semi-annual workforce readiness events, mainstream bank access and coordinate youth mentoring and training efforts. These programs increase financial stability for families, ready our residents for the workforce and create pathways to success for our youth.