In communities everywhere, what started as a healthcare emergency quickly turned into a social and economic crisis. For the poorest individuals and families already struggling to get by, COVID-19 hit especially hard. The United Way of Cincinnati looks beyond the symptoms of poverty and addresses its root causes in the documentary, “United Is the Way: A Story of Help, Hope and Healing.”
The 30-minute documentary examines the effects COVID-19 has had on Greater Cincinnati residents and the social services helping them. It shows the role The United Way of Greater Cincinnati, their partner organizations and community members play in helping the region recover and revitalize. They tackle systemic issues associated with food insecurity, the housing and unemployment crisis and the care of the young and old.
Set in Cincinnati during the pandemic, this documentary looks at the downstream effects COVID-19 has had on the lives of the most vulnerable members of society and how they've coped with the disruption. It highlights the stories of four local residents: a grandmother trying to replace lost income and keep her family financially stable; a construction worker who made $200 a day and now finds himself unemployed; a veteran trying to maintain consistent employment and meet basic needs; and a grandmother worried about the pandemic’s effect on her grandchildren’s mental health and development.
“We reacted and we reacted quickly, making sure people were safe and could meet their basic needs,” said Moira Weir, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Cincinnati. “COVID-19 wasn’t just a temporary setback -- for many it will take years to recover. We are not only responding to emerging needs, but we have the opportunity to rebuild systems for improved equity and better outcomes.”
“United is the Way: A Story of Help, Hope and Healing” was the result of a five-month, joint collaboration between the WCPO 9 Creative Services and the Newsy Brand Studio. This 24-minute production is sponsored by The United Way of Greater Cincinnati and P&G, this year's local campaign sponsor. The documentary airs Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 18 at 11:30 a.m. on WCPO 9. It airs on Newsy's national cable channel Oct. 17 and Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. EST both days.
United Way is in the midst of raising $50 million to help meet increasing community needs because of COVID-19. To donate to United Way’s community-wide effort, visit The United Way of Greater Cincinnati.