HEADLINES

United Way of Western Connecticut Receives $1.2 Million Award from Federal Government to Support Families Living Paycheck to Paycheck

United Way of Western Connecticut and Prosperity Digital Marketplace announced the award of $1.2 million in Senate Directed Funds to support the expansion of a first-of-its-kind digital marketplace – Prosperi-Key – that empowers hard working families and small business to thrive across Connecticut.

The funding will be used to support ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families—the nearly 40 percent of our neighbors who work hard yet do not make enough to afford the basic cost of living—through the growth and expansion of Prosperi-Key. 

In 2021, United Way of Western Connecticut launched Prosperi-Key, an innovative digital marketplace that connects ALICE households to social services, business discounts, government supports, and other resources to help lessen the cost of living, reduce family stress, and support their ability to save. Prosperi-Key also supports small businesses by linking them with a new customer base, while also giving back to their community. Today, Prosperi-Key is being rolled out across the United States, including expansion throughout Connecticut. Prosperi-Key is a product of Prosperity Digital Marketplace, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of United Way of Western Connecticut.

“More than seven years ago, United Way of Western Connecticut made a commitment to focus our resources on the nearly 40-percent of our neighbors that make up the ALICE population – an underserved and under resourced segment of our community,” said Isabel Almeida, President of United Way of Western Connecticut. “Prosperi-Key was borne of that commitment. We needed a mechanism to scale our programs to ensure that every ALICE household had the opportunity to access resources that could help them thrive. Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy understand the importance of serving ALICE and saw Prosperi-Key as an innovative solution to meeting the needs of these households. The $1.2 million award from the Senate Directed Funds will ensure that every individual in Connecticut that works hard but needs a little extra help can access it easily and can feel empowered to make the best choices for themselves and their families.”

The $1.2 million award will support the expansion of Prosperi-Key and provides funding to:

  • Grow small and mid-size businesses offerings for ALICE by underwriting the cost for businesses to join Prosperi-Key;
  • Recruit ALICE to join Prosperi-Key as “Key Members”;
  • Enhance vocational and educational accessibility on Prosperi-Key, including collaboration with State workforce development programs; and
  • Help to build out the additional technology infrastructure for this expansion.

“Prosperi-Key is the only platform that brings together philanthropy, government, and business in one environment to support the ALICE population,” said Kim Morgan, CEO of Prosperity Digital Marketplace. “We know that ALICE households exist across Connecticut, living paycheck-to-paycheck with both day-to-day and long-term needs. We solve for both with Prosperi-Key. We open the doors to resources – local businesses, programs, and services – and bring people short and long-term relief, empower them, and in doing so, create more financially stable households. The funding from the Senate Directed Funds presents an incredible opportunity for Prosperi-Key to expand its reach throughout Connecticut, making a difference in the lives of thousands of residents and hundreds of businesses.”

“The Prosperi-Key digital marketplace is a new, innovative platform connecting families with discounts to small businesses in their communities as well as critical services and resources. United Way of Western Connecticut has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping those needing support or services who aren’t sure where to turn. I am proud to have fought alongside Senator Murphy to secure this significant financial support for the expansion of this program, making life easier for many families in need,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal.

 “It wasn’t that long ago where I would have been a member of the ALICE community – where I would have qualified for the things we are talking about, where I as a classroom teacher with an advanced degree would have fallen within the parameters of everything we are talking about,” said Congresswoman Jahana Hayes. “That is what programs like this do. What is especially important and significant about Prosperi-Key, is that we are meeting the moment. We have to be innovative and creative about how we communicate to people and how we share what resources are available.”

“The City of Danbury is a hub for innovation and a community of giving, with businesses and nonprofits coming together every day to create solutions for some of the community’s most pressing problems,” said Danbury Mayor Dean Esposito. “United Way of Western Connecticut and Prosperi-Key have found a way to bring together our city’s small businesses and nonprofits to support and empower ALICE households, ensuring that every family that needs a little extra help can access it, with dignity and choice.”

"Prosperi-Key is a prime example of an opportunity that small businesses and non-profits have to collaborate on real solutions to make an impact on the lives of those within our own community,” said P.J. Prunty, President & CEO of Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce. 

Individuals that wish to access Prosperi-Key resources can do so by visiting www.ProsperiKey.org and registering on the site. Once they have registered, they will go through an income verification process to become full Key Members and obtain unlimited access to geo-targeted offers, discounts, and services. Local businesses can join United Way and Prosperi-Key by providing unique offers to income-restricted families, receiving the three-fold benefit of helping their neighbors in need while also developing relationships with a new customer base and gaining increased visibility with advertising support and brand recognition with a cause that the community supports. Businesses interested in joining the platform can reach out to Melissa Stanley at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . As part of Prosperi-Key’s statewide expansion, the first 2,000 individuals who become Key Members at prosperikey.org will be eligible for a $25 grocery card that can be used at any local grocer. 

 

To learn more about Prosperi-Key, visit www.prosperikey.org.

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