United Way of San Juan County




UNITED WAY OF SAN JUAN COUNTY WANTS TO THANK YOU for helping us in the first half of 2017.

With your assistance, we have been able to: 

  • Fund 14  San Juan County nonprofits working in our focus areas of health, education, and income stability. 
  • Implement our Community Impact Model, which seeks to get to the root of our islands’ problems, and creating stable and healthy families, seniors, and children. 
  • Pilot programs to be expanded in the fall: After-School Reading Enrichment Programs for elementary students who are at risk of falling behind in school. 
  • Pilot “Food for Kids!” a weekend backpack program on San Juan Island, similar to the Starfish Project and Orcas Island’s program, to be expanded in 2018.


United Way of San Juan County Affordable Housing Update, August 2017

Serving over 1800 unduplicated individuals at midyear 2017, United Way of San Juan County (UWSJC) is seeing an increase in the number of people struggling to make ends meet in the San Juans.

United Way of San Juan County currently funds 14 local schools and nonprofits working in health, education, and income stability. Like UWSJC, these schools and nonprofits are dedicated to improving the skills, wellbeing, and independence of people in our community who may be going through tough times, and for the community as a whole. It appears that this number is, in fact, growing, while the labor force is shrinking.

Of the households in the county, 40 % have income that is low, very low, or extremely low, according to HUD. And from 2010 to 2015, the percentage of cost-burdened households in nearly every income bracket increased.[i]

United Way’s 2014 ALICE report found that in San Juan County almost 5000 people struggle to survive on insufficient income – a full one-third of our island population. This number is greater today.

In July 2017, UWSJC- supported community organizations reported some of the day-to-day effects of the loss of affordable rental units, homelessness, the need for more food donations to four community food banks. They talked about our workforce shortage, child poverty, the increase in requests for Hospice care and equipment, and more.

As one nonprofit director noted:

I am seeing our families working more, but still not making enough money to afford the basic necessities, including childcare. Many of these families struggle just to pay for housing and food.

The number of people struggling to live here is on the rise, and UWSJC is working with community partners to reverse this trend.  Join us!

Together we can make a difference in our island's future. 


[i] 2015 Washington State Housing Needs Assessment, Washington Affordable Housing Advisory Board.