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United Way announces investments to support basic human services

6/5/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

SUMMIT COUNTY — United Way of Summit County (UWSC) has announced that, in 2014-15, it will invest more than $1.2 million from its Community Impact Fund in community programs and initiatives that provide for people’s most basic needs of food, shelter, health and safety. United Way will distribute the investment through a network of 13 well-established organizations throughout Summit County, according to UWSC officials.

“While United Way’s funding has become much more strategic in recent years in the areas of education, health and income stability, there is still a great need to provide basic human services for our most vulnerable residents,” said Bob Kulinski, president and CEO of UWSC. “Despite the technical end of the recession, much of our population still deals with long-term unemployment, underemployment and debt from medical bills and other crises in the recession’s wake. Our strategy in providing for basic needs is to fund the agencies that are most effective, efficient and best positioned in the community to reach those that need help.”

The UWSC investment review process looks for quality programming and results, integration of services and collaboration with other organizations and leverage through matching funds, as well as alignment with UWSC’s investment priorities. As a result, two countywide initiatives received a large portion of the funding:

  • American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties, to provide in Summit County emergency assistance, disaster relief and education, communications services and aid to military members and their family members, and educational programs on preparedness, health and safety, $764,720; and
  • Info Line Inc.-211 Information and Referral, to provide free access and referrals throughout Summit County, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for resources in support of basic human needs, physical and mental health, work support, senior citizens and persons with disabilities and children and families, $135,000.

The following basic human needs programs also received funding awards from United Way:

√ ACCESS Inc., shelter and support for women and children, $68,000;

√ Akron Urban League, emergency assistance, $5,000;

√ Battered Women’s Shelter of Summit and Medina Counties, crisis intervention services, $103,000;

√ Care Coordination — Summit County Public Health, emergency assistance, $45,000;

√ Catholic Charities of Summit County, emergency assistance, $40,000;

√ Faith in Action, transportation support for seniors, $20,000;

√ Family Promise of Summit County, family emergency shelter and support, $20,000;

√ Green Welfare Association, emergency assistance, $5,000;

√ Hudson Community Services Association, emergency assistance, $5,000;

√ Springfield Township Community Fund, emergency assistance, $5,000; and

√ The Salvation Army of Summit County, emergency assistance, $64,000.

In addition to investing in basic human needs through its Community Impact Fund, UWSC also invests in education, income stability and health. United Way’s investments in education were announced earlier this year. Investments in income stability and health for 2014-15 will be announced later this year.

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