We believe everyone in our community deserves to have a stable place to call home and the opportunity to pursue their dreams.
Our strategic programs focus on removing barriers and listening to people in the neighborhoods we serve, ensuring our solutions are community-driven and informed in their ability to create greater opportunity and new ways forward.
The Personal Investment Enterprise (PIE) program has been creating new ways forward for individuals and families in Boulder and Broomfield Counties for almost 20 years. The PIE program, provided in partnership with Mile High United Way and Boulder County Community Action Programs, is designed to help hard working, low-income families and individuals save money exclusively for first-time homeownership, post-secondary education, and small business development. Through the program, participants enroll in financial education classes and save through Individual Development Accounts, with matched savings at a rate of 4 to 1.
One of the families impacted by the PIE program include Cat, Eddie, and their two boys, Romi (2) and Tripp (5). After entering the program in June of 2017, Cat and Eddie were excited to learn more about how to maximize their income through PIE’s financial literacy classes which focused on saving with long-term goals in mind. After graduating, they were able to purchase their first home in April 2020. Both working on the frontlines as daycare teachers, they cannot imagine having gone through this pandemic anywhere but in the safety and security of their new home.
“Where we came from was like an 800-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment with the four of us,” Eddie said of how owning this home has changed things. “It’s really cool to have [the kids] have their own space, to see them grow and see their room grow and change with what they like. It’s a little emotional.”
In a year where we all learned how critical the spaces we live in can become, Cat and Eddie were able to provide their children a sense of home and to encourage their boys to have ownership of their individual spaces within their new home. They were able to navigate the pandemic in a space that brought comfort and joy rather than stress and discomfort. Through their commitment to the PIE program, they were able to build a stable foundation, one that will lead to generational change within their family.
“We’re extremely grateful for all the help that we had throughout the process, and just really lucky, I feel, to have had the support that we had,” Eddie said. “We want to pass [the house] on to [the boys] and let them have a home without worrying, and it’s just really cool to get to do that.”
PIE has helped so many families like Cat and Eddie pursue their dreams and make the seemingly impossible a reality. Since the PIE program started:
• 374 participants have graduated (and growing)
• 172 participants have purchased a home
• 115 participants have pursued post-secondary education
• 87 participants have developed a new business
Here’s what other participants had to say about their experience in the program:
“If you have a dream or a plan for the future, keep pushing forward! Eventually, with the help of the right people, you will see your dream become a reality. The PIE Program really helped me become independent and provided me with the essentials I needed to get my business off the ground.” – Armando
“It [PIE] has made buying a home a possible concept. Without some help I don’t know that we would ever have been able to do this.” -Homeowner from Boulder
“It [PIE] helped relieve some of the stress of owing so much in student loans and I also Learned a lot of valuable financial information. My son attended the class with me and we talked about how important it is to be aware of how much we spend.” -Student pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Longmont
In a recent survey to PIE graduates between 2010-2019, Mile High United Way found:
• 72% continue saving on a regular basis
• 66% saw a continued increase in income
• 73% achieved future saving goals
Mile High United Way has always been committed to creating sustainable, generational change within our communities. As we continue measuring the effectiveness of our programming, we find a solid foundation that is building greater equity and opportunity for all in our community. Learn more about the Personal Investment Enterprise Program and how it is changing lives in our Metro Denver communities.