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Helping Families Become Financially Stable and Independent

Federal government standards show 18% of Kern County families live in “poverty”. What the federal numbers don’t show are the thousands of families living above the “poverty line” but still unable to make ends meet. According to a study by United Ways of California, one in three Kern County families does not earn enough money to meet their basic needs (e.g. housing, food, clothing, transportation) without assistance. See the full study A Portrait of CA.


  • According to the Kern County Department of Human Services, 16,900 families in Kern County receive cash aid.
  • According Housing California, a minimum wage earner in Kern County would have to work 106 hours a week to afford a Fair Market Rental apartment in our area.
  • According to RealtTrac, for April 2011, the County of Kern has one in every 172 in a home foreclosure.

The median Kern County household income for 2010 was $47,089 of that 20.6% live below poverty according to the US Census Bureau. Families are walking a financial tight-rope with no ability to save for college, a home, or for retirement. With your help, United Way of Kern County is working to help these families establish a firm financial footing. We are working in collaborative efforts and providing financial support to programs that:

  • Help hard-working people obtain free income tax assistance and claim all the tax benefits they’ve earned through VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).
  • Improve financial literacy, encourage personal savings and enable people to acquire personal assets (such as a first home or small business) through FISH (Financial Independence Starts Here) Program.
  • Prevent and reduce HOMELESSNESS AND HUNGER.

You can also read a copy of the Struggling to Get By: The Real Cost Measure of California HERE.

Learn move about our VITA partnership here.

Call 2-1-1 or 661-336-6966 for a Kern VITA Partnership site nearest YOU

Our Focus
Vita Income


Creating pathways to financial stability by providing free tax services and providing financial literacy courses.

Born Learning & Raising a Reader

Born Learning & Raising a Reader

Preparing children for success in school and in life by empowering parents to be their first teachers.

Kern County Homeless Collaborative

Kern County Homeless Collaborative

Working to end homelessness with 25 partner member organizations.

Kern Food Policy Council

Kern Food Policy Council

Collaborating to end hunger by working to find innovative, systems-level solutions.

You're part of this community. we know you want to see it succeed. So do we. At United Way, we believe we can do more together as a team. Join us.
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