2013 Press Release: United Way Of Central Illinois Announced $1.7 Million Of Program Funding For Health & Human Services

For Immediate Release – May 22, 2013

SPRINGFIELD – United Way of Central Illinois awarded $1,714,769 to 39 local health and human service programs. This community investment was made possible by the generous donations of over 9,000 individuals and companies who participated in the 2012 United Way campaign. United Way continues to be the largest private funder of these programs in Sangamon County.

United Way funding comes at a critical time when many social service programs are trying to meet greater community needs with slimmer budgets.  “An economy still recovering has led to a sustained, continuous strain on the budgets of agencies providing critical services in our community,” said Dr. Charles Callahan, Chair of United Way’s Board of Directors and Vice President of Quality & Operations at Memorial Health System.  “Although United Way is not immune to such pressures, the sound stewardship of funds donated to United Way has allowed our volunteer board to maintain funding levels for community programs addressing an individual’s immediate needs and promoting their long-term health and well-being with educational support.“

United Way mobilizes resources to benefit local programs aligned around education, food, shelter, healthcare and victim services; with every dollar donated to the community fund supporting such programs.  At present, 57% of the allocations fund programs that provide food, shelter, healthcare and victim services (Essential Service programs). The balance of 43% fund programs providing skills and promoting lifelong learning beyond the classroom, (Lifelong Learning Initiative). Program funding and policy decisions are made by local volunteer leadership charged with assessing community needs and evaluating funding requests.

“Our volunteers employed objective methods to evaluate and ultimately fund those programs best positioned to meet the basic needs and provide victim services to individuals and families in our community,” said Jackie L. Newman, Chair of United Way’s Community Fund Committee and Executive Director at Springfield Housing Authority. “By leveraging the expertise and commitment of local volunteers, United Way is able to assess and address the changing needs of our community.”

Program funding requests totaled more than $2.5 million, a 15% increase over previous year requests, with $1.7 million available to distribute. An increase in funding requests made the job of United Way’s 46 Community Fund Volunteers very difficult, but underscored the important fact that contributions to United Way help to provide services that benefit everyone in the community… making this a better place to live and work.

Four programs were provided funding for the first time this year, including two programs (Women & Children’s Emergency Shelter and Homeless Management Information System)new to our community. They are:

•    Central Counties Health Centers – Oral Health Services
CCHC provides general dentistry services to adults and children including regardless of a client’s ability to pay.
•    Contact Ministries – Women and Children’s Emergency Shelter
A unique shelter that will serve single women and mothers with children, ages 0-17, who might otherwise have to stay in separate facilities.
•    Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois – Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Lifeline supports people who call for themselves or someone they care about. The initiative supports Goal 8 of the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention: “Promote suicide prevention as a core component of health care services.”
•    M.E.R.C.Y. Communities – Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
Piloted on July 1, 2012, HMIS establishes a platform for tracking client information, services and case note documentation between homeless agencies.

“We are extremely pleased to provide funding to four programs for the first time; two of which are pilot programs and new to our community,” said John P. Kelker, United Way President. “Among those initiatives receiving first time funding are initiatives providing emergency shelter to single women and mothers with children, oral health services for at-risk populations, and suicide prevention services.  The diversity of these newly funded programs demonstrates the ability of our volunteer committees to identify changing needs within our community.”

For a complete list of program funding, go to http://www.springfieldunitedway.org/programs.html

For more information contact Jarid Brown, Director of Communications at jbrown@uwcil.org or 217-836-2656.