United Way knows that often the first step to escaping poverty is getting connected to services that help.

Our Driving The Dream™ initiative, Free Tax Prep program, and Dial 2-1-1 information service are important resources on your path out of poverty.

Driving the Dream helps build your plan out of poverty and access a linked system of services and programs  |  Free Tax Prep helps to get your taxes prepared and filed for free, by IRS trained volunteers who apply proper credits to maximize your refund  |  Dial 2-1-1 allows you to speak with a trained operator who can hear the details of your situation, “cut through the red tape” and connect you with services that help

Relief Call Center powered by DRIVING THE DREAM

Driving The Dream is United Way’s innovative approach to providing people in poverty with guidance, help, and a map of services they help create so they can take the proper steps at the right times to escape poverty and live the life of their dreams. The area’s battle against poverty cannot be won by a single individual, organization, or sector. United Way uses our unique position at the intersection of numerous sectors including volunteers, nonprofits, collaborations, businesses, organized labor, academia, faith-based organizations, and other groups to create positive changes and help more people escape generational poverty.

Relief Call Center powered by Driving The Dream (844) 444-4211


The battle against generational poverty has many fronts and requires many strategies. United Way’s Free Tax Prep program trains volunteers to help people prepare and file their income taxes for FREE. This program brings income back to individuals and families in low-to-moderate income households and creates a boost of more than $12 million in refunds to our local economy.

When a family struggling to make ends meet uses United Way Free Tax Prep instead of spending hundreds of dollars with tax preparers, it makes a big difference. Free Tax Prep also helps people avoid predatory lending practices at less-than-reputable tax centers, and can help people learn about savings, financial literacy, and healthy financial practices.

Visit a Supersite at Hickory Ridge Mall, Southland Mall, or Refuge Memphis in Raleigh. Or, just call 2-1-1 (backup number 901.415.2790) to get information about the Free Tax Prep site in your area. Every site plays an important role in United Way’s battle against Mid-South poverty.


Do you or someone you know need nonprofit help? Your best “first step” is to call 2-1-1, the region’s information and referral system for nonprofit services. Just as you dial 9-1-1 during a crisis like a house fire or medical emergency, dial 2-1-1 when you have a need for local nonprofit services and information. Trained operators are able to ask for details related to needs and provide information about local nonprofits that can be of assistance. If you live outside of Shelby County, you may wish to call toll free, 855.354.4211. If your mobile phone provider does not allow service to 3-digit numbers, call 901.415.2790; 2-1-1 is a partnership between United Way of the Mid-South and the Memphis Public Library System.