Moving People From Poverty to Possibility

For too many people in our region, poverty is a daily—and difficult—struggle. It forces people and families to make impossible choices like whether to put food on the table or to pay the rent. It touches every aspect of a person’s life, making it difficult to get ahead and realize a future full of possibility.

With your support, United Way is helping to meet the basic needs of our community’s most vulnerable people and families, giving them the opportunity to build a better future. This includes providing the essential building blocks of a good life such as food, shelter and employment, while reducing vulnerability in the first place.

The Challenge

Poverty isn’t just about a pay cheque. In fact, it touches almost every aspect of a person’s life from food, shelter and employment to mental and physical well-being. It’s a social and economic issue that also impacts our entire community—and the people who live here.

Melanie’s Story – A dream comes true for a single mom and her kids

Mélanie and her kids were living in a substandard apartment. Thanks to a United Way funded agency, she found a new home and is starting her own business.

Melanie’s Story
Local Impact Stories

Program Funding

Your donation helps deliver  programs that lift people out of poverty and prevent those at risk from falling into it. The programs listed below all receive financial support from the United Way Community Fund. 

Community Support

Providing services, support, resources, referrals, transportation, community outreach, disability income assistance, tenancy advocacy, and legal aid in the South Okanagan.

Compassionate care

Providing free in-home assistance, referral services, and food security assistance to low income vulnerable clients struggling with disability, health, financial, and social limitations.

Emergency provisions

Operational support for the food bank in Summerland and Revelstoke; providing food and community referral services.

Healthy meals

Providing healthy and nutritional meals – hot and frozen – to those in our community that are struggling either financially, physically, or mentally which makes it impossible for them to survive.

Emergency shelter

Providing emergency shelter and supports to youth and adults living on the street.

Literacy programs

Helping individuals achieve their full potential at work, at school, at home, and in the community by providing them with free training in English, math, and more.

Meal planning and education programs

Supporting local community kitchens with programs teaching healthy meal planning and prep

School breakfast programs

Providing free school breakfast in 30 schools and 1500 students in the Central Okanagan; providing nutritious snacks or meals to vulnerable children and youth.

Senior supports

Enhancing seniors’ wellness through volunteerism, education, referral and social programs in West Kelowna/Peachland area.

Women’s outreach

Providing overnight outreach services to women who are experiencing homelessness and/or are sexually exploited in the Central and North Okanagan.

Women’s emergency services

Operational support in the South Okanagan offering shelter, safety and supports for individuals experiencing violence or abuse.

Young family supports

Providing referral-based ‘bank’ of necessary baby items accessible to marginalized and low-income families in need.

Tax support

Completing free income tax returns for low-income individuals in the South Okanagan/Similkameen.

Transitional supports

Working with current and/or former inmates of correctional institutions to assist with successful transition into the community.

Charity Partners

Community Building Sponsorship

United Way and Valley First partnered in 2018 to support a unique program run by the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society. The program focuses on reducing social isolation by offering a new sense of community inclusion for people with brain injury. One aspect of this program involves learning to become self-sufficient through basic cooking skills, including simple, low cost recipes that are easily replicated at home. Thanks to Valley First for your financial support of this program and contributions to the community!

Community Building Partnerships

Working together for greater impact, the United Way collaborates on the following strategic initiatives with local government, charities, and community partners.

100 Homes Penticton

This coalition of community leaders is working together to provide housing and supports to 100 people in Penticton who are experiencing homelessness.

Learn More

A Way Home Kelowna

Community plan to address and prevent youth homelessness in Kelowna.

Learn More

Emergency Transportation Assistance Program

United Way partners with municipalities and Regional Districts to offer free bus tickets to charities whose clients have urgent transportation needs and no safe alternatives.

Learn More

Central Okanagan Poverty Reduction Strategy

Partnering with local service providers, United Way SIBC is facilitating a community driven poverty reduction strategy in the Central Okanagan.

Learn More

Your Donations At Work

Your gift to United Way helps give thousands of vulnerable people and families in our communities the opportunity to build a better future by providing the foundational building blocks to a life without poverty.

Your Impact

$10 provides one month of nutritious breakfasts for one student

$50 provides supplies for recreation programs at youth shelter

$100 provides 3 bike helmets for youth in bicycle safety program

$500 provides two months of licensed after school care for one child

$1,000 provides one at-risk youth with one year participation in outdoor sports program

When you support United Way, you’re moving people from poverty to possibility right here at home.


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