Heart of Missouri United Way looks to lessen poverty gap

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COLUMBIA - Heart of Missouri United Way will host a Financial Stability and Economic Mobility Community Summit on Thursday morning. 

The event looks to bring together practice and research by engaging health and human service providers, employers and other large community stakeholders. United Way will discuss the current state of the economy and actions that can be taken to help economically vulnerable households increase their financial capability, as well as asset building.

Heart of Missouri United Way's website reads, "Our community wins by living united: By responding to changing community needs."

Executive Director Andrew Grabau said he's pleased with the progress he's seen with Heart of Missouri United Way.

"We've done some really great things including in our community to help to address [these issues]," Grabau said. "And over the last few years we have seen some good momentum demonstrated by the city's strategic plan, and we've seen some wage growth in our community."

Grabau also acknowledged at United Way isn't perfect, but its ability to work as a team with others is what makes them special. 

"We do not have all the answers, and we don't pretend to," Grabau said. "We can bring the for-profit companies, the non-profit companies, people who use services, people who don't use services together to talk about solutions in our community."

The event will begin at 8 a.m. and run until 3 p.m.