“No Wrong-Doors” to United Way-funded programs across agencies

United Way of the Mid-South (UW) is Driving the Dream (DTD) to combat pervasive, intergenerational poverty. In Memphis, Tennessee, a city with an overall poverty rate of 26.2% and in which 43% of kids live in poverty, the United Way is committed to helping people imagine and achieve self-sufficient lives. United Way of the Mid-South serves as the backbone structure to bring together care coordination hubs, referral networks, 2-Gen learning communities, and a systems advisory group. It’s created a resilient human services ecosystem that aligns and better integrates the local service delivery system to support families living in poverty to pursue their dreams and functionally advance toward economic security and futures of their choosing.

From inception, Consilience Group has provided services to support Driving the Dream. In 2017, Consilience Group helped guide the UW and its partners through a successful pilot, key to building the foundation for this large-scale initiative and gathering critical information that provided insight into the conditions vital for a successful scaled implementation. Today, we continue to help the United Way and its partners build on the foundation and learnings gleaned during the pilot phase with the ultimate goal of establishing high-quality, regional, connected services.


United Way of the Mid-South (UWMS) seeks to demonstrate that uniting historically disconnected systems will lead to improved health and wellbeing for economically struggling families living in Shelby County. Given a launch of March 2017, long-term impact data is still in process of being gathered; however, UWMS is making significant strides when it comes to building the needed infrastructure and community-wide support. Key accomplishments include:

  • Established a functional coordinated network of 60 referral agencies that are representative of 19 cross-sector domains;
  • Launched four fully operational care coordination hubs providing comprehensive support to 228 households with the goal of moving them towards the attainment of their hopes and dreams;
  • Configured a shared data platform to make referrals among human service providers, which extends and leverages resources to further workforce development, health and wellness, and early childhood education services;
  • Collectively adopted a guiding framework, shared measures of success, and common assessment tools;
  • Built a county-wide 2Gen community of practice to instill 2Gen philosophy, policies, and practices across sectors in Shelby County;
  • Established an in-house team dedicated to working with its partner network to provide strengths-based, high-quality coaching and support with the goal of enhancing organizational capacity;
  • Established the System Advisory Team, a guiding body of approximately fifteen members, is charged with both providing advisement related to DTD, but also – and most importantly – informing and influencing system-wide practice and policy; and
  • Convened a Data Interoperability Workgroup, that is focused on advancing collective community work to promote and advance interoperability.

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