Financial Stability

Thousands of Story County families aren’t in the financial position to weather even a small storm, struggling paycheck to paycheck. The COVID-19 pandemic has been no small storm. The numbers of people looking for help with basic needs is staggering. The work to build financially stable families can range from emergency support to helping families stay in school or maintain employment to strengthening their financial literacy. The final result of this is improved financial capacity and the ability to save for future emergencies.



Strengthen financial stability by increasing the number of people served by 25% by 2025.

  • 21.5% of Story County individuals have incomes below the federal poverty level. This represents 18,527 individuals (American Community Survey, ACS)
  • 19% of Story County households experience severe housing problems, defined as households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems: overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities, or lack of plumbing facilities (County Health Rankings)
  • 6.9% of households in Story County receive cash public assistance income and/or food stamps/SNAP. This represents 2,577 households (ACS)
  • 20.8% of Story County adults 25 years+ have a high-school diploma or less education (ACS)
  • Only 22% of surveyed individuals in Iowa said they had participated in financial education through school, college, or workplace (2018, M20, FINRA National Financial Capability Study)

*Data from 2019 or most recent year available. While these indicators are not the only ways to assess financial stability in our community, these are data points that illustrate that there is a need in our goal area.

Emergency food and homelessness prevention / We will provide for basic needs.
Employment support / We will help individuals remain in school and/or maintain employment.
Financial education / We will provide basic personal finance education and other financial programs.

  • 47,150 individuals were served through emergency food programs (all Story County pantries, adult/family shelter food programs, and Healthy Food Vouchers).
  • 1,437 households received financial assistance (rent and/or utilities) though GNEA and MICA to help with housing cost burdens and prevent homelessness.
  • 529 of adults served through child care sliding fees and transitional living programs were able to remain in school or at their job, representing 79%.
  • 104 surveyed clients reported a general improvement in their financial situation, representing 28% of those surveyed.

Baseline from FY 2018-19. These performances measures are part of a comprehensive strategy map. They show a range of work, and are reported on by a number of different funded programs. To view our full strategy map and community impact plan, visit


Result 1: Access to Basic Needs

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Result 2: Increasing Income

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Result 3: Increased Financial Capability

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Our Work in Financial Stability