Strong Neighborhoods

"If you provide conditions of safety and perceived trust and civility in social and public spaces, people will want to live there, they’ll interact and develop a sense of ownership."
—Discover magazine

About Strong Neighborhoods

United Way is leading a place-based strategy to dramatically improve the quality of life for our children and families because strong neighborhoods make a strong community.

To do that, we currently operate two Strong Neighborhood Houses in Rockford, and one in Machesney Park. The houses put programs into neighborhoods that provide educational opportunities and activities, reduce childhood poverty, and build hope for neighborhood families. Educational opportunities include free translation services for local immigrant families, summer programming for kids out of school, and block parties for residents to meet and engage with their neighbors and area police officers in an informal setting.

House locations

Neighborhood initiatives: working together

Together with neighborhood residents and community partners, United Way has developed a unique agendas in both Ellis Heights and Midtown District. An additional agenda is being developed for our house on Marie Avenue in coordination with surrounding residents in Machesney Park and Loves Park. A collective impact approach allows us to assess neighborhood assets and needs, find solutions, and identify metrics in order to evaluate impact.

We have a Community Impact Team that serves as "boots on the ground" in each neighborhood, developing authentic relationships with the residents and learning about their dreams for a better life.

Learn more about the specific programs and events going on at each house by visiting their Facebook pages.

Hear the stories of those directly involved with our Strong Neighborhood Houses

Anastasia's story

More information

Call 815-968-5400 or email