United Way of the Piedmont is extremely grateful to Michelin for their recent donation of $30,000 to the Cliff Effects Fund. This fund, created by the Financial Stability Task Force, aids single mothers in Spartanburg County who are at risk of losing assistance for food, housing, childcare, and other benefits due to an increase in their wages.

In Spartanburg County, 42% of households headed by single mothers are living at less than 125% of the Federal Poverty Level, with a median income of $24,069. The Financial Stability Task Force hopes to decrease these statistics. Although public assistance is intended to be temporary, families often find themselves relying on these resources just to make ends meet. The Cliff Effect describes the precarious situation these families find themselves in when an increase in wages does not make up for the subsequent loss of benefits, thereby disincentivizing individuals to take higher paying jobs. United Way’s Director of Financial Stability Strategy, Hannah Jarrett, says, “the goal of the Cliff Effects Fund is to make the ‘cliff’ feel more like a ‘gentle slope,’ so that taking a promotion or a higher paying job doesn’t create a hardship.”

Through this program, families are given assistance and guidance via Community Resource Coordinators at United Way. Community Resource Coordinators help clients meet critical needs while creating a path toward financial stability. To do this, a client’s strengths and needs are assessed through intensive case management. The Community Resource Coordinator then provides services such as budget planning and developing self-motivated goals upon working with the client on a regular basis.

“At Michelin, one of our core values is to live in harmony with our communities where we live and work,” says Luc Debaty, plant manager at Michelin’s Spartanburg facility. “Our team is proud to partner with United Way of the Piedmont to support a better way forward for our neighbors in need. We look forward to seeing the lasting impact the Cliff Effects Fund will have on the lives of single mothers here in our local community.”

As a result of Michelin’s support, families in our community will have a buffer to prevent them from falling off the cliff. An increase in wages should not decrease a family’s standard of living. Through the Cliff Effect Fund, United Way is walking alongside families to support them and help break the cycle in order to make self-sufficiency a reality for those living on the edge.

About United Way of the Piedmont

United Way of the Piedmont is a local nonprofit that fights for the education, financial stability, and health of every member of our community. Our mission is to connect, engage, and inspire people to transform our community. We are more than fundraisers. We forge unique partnerships, find new solutions to old problems, and mobilize the best resources by inspiring others to join the fight. We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to not just survive, but to thrive.