United Way of Greater Milwaukee: Distributes additional urgent needs grants

For More Information:

Maressa Sullivan – 414-263-8132

Betsy Rourke – 414-263-8111

(Milwaukee, Wis., March 12, 2009) – United Way of Greater Milwaukee today announced eight additional recipients of its $200,000 special urgent needs fund. New Concept Self Development Center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Milwaukee, Youth & Family Project, the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, COA Youth & Family Centers, the Hmong American Friendship Association, Sojourner Family Peace Center and 2-1-1 @ IMPACT will receive grants through United Way’s Safety Net Fund. Two other grants have already been awarded. United Way announced in January that Community Advocates and Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center would each receive grants through the Safety Net fund.

In December 2008, United Way created a special $200,000 urgent needs fund for its agency partners. The first $25,000 was secured, thanks to a generous donor. United Way set aside an additional $175,000 to be distributed as needed beginning in January 2009.

“So many agencies have been impacted by the economy and are having trouble providing services to clients who need help,” said Nicole Angresano, vice president, Community Impact, United Way of Greater Milwaukee. “Agencies have told us that relied upon funds, including state and federal sources, have been decreased or cut, and this could continue over the next few years. United Way’s Safety Net fund will help agencies support their immediate and pressing needs.”

Safety Net fund grants are limited to one award per agency, per year, up to $25,000 and are available only to those agencies housing programs currently funded by United Way of Greater Milwaukee.

“Over the past few months, many of United Way’s partner agencies have been hit hard by cuts in funding and we need to help support them during this critical time,” said Tim Sullivan, board chair of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and president and CEO of Bucyrus International. “United Way has always stepped up to help those who need it during times of crisis. Thanks to thousands of generous supporters, we are able to implement this special fund to help agencies get through these tough times and continue providing the services many people rely on.”

UNITED WAY 2009 SAFETY NET GRANTS: $200,000

Community Advocates, Milwaukee Women’s Center/Older Abused Women’s Program: $25,000

Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center, Operational Expenses: $25,000

New Concept Self Development Center, MLK Social Services & Father’s Family Resource Center Program: $25,000

Youth & Family Project, Nurturing & Parent Support Program (NAPS) : $20,000

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee, Children of Promise: $25,000

AIDS Resource Center of WI, Funds for Food Purchase to Address Growing Needs of those with HIV: $15,000

COA Youth & Family Centers, Community Meal Program Expansion to Goldin Center: $15,000

Hmong American Friendship Association, Case Management Assistant-Part-Time: $20,000

IMPACT: [email protected], Additional Staff Time for Referral Line: $18,000

Sojourner Family Peace Center, Transportation Needs for Residents and their Children: $12,000

Community Advocates: Milwaukee Women’s Center/Older Abused Women’s Program: $25,000 (Awarded in January)

This program shelters women over age 52, and is the only Milwaukee program to address female older adult abuse issues, specifically. Diminished funding and the inability to sustain Community Advocates programs resulted in the loss of funded positions. The Older Abused Women’s Program lost a key source of funding which led to reduced staff and program capacity. United Way funds will help address this important concern.

Walker’s Point Youth & Family Center: Operational Expenses: $25,000 (Awarded in January)

There has been a 16% increase in the demand for youth emergency shelter services since July 2008 compared to 2007. Food and utility costs have risen by $20,000 for group homes for homeless youth (emergency shelter/transitional living). The agency has experienced a drop exceeding $35,000 in local public support and corporate/foundation funds (this six-month period compared to last). The United Way grant will help sustain Walker’s Point current runaway and homeless programs due to the critical need of services provided and the increased need for youth shelter.

New Concept Self Development Center: MLK Social Services & Father’s Family Resource Center Program: $25,000

This program has experienced a significant increase in calls and requests for basic needs resources including food, clothing, shelter and employment services. Items including clothing, emergency assistance, diapers, baby formula, and food pantry/meal programs are provided to those in need. Since transportation is a serious barrier for clients, the program also provides bus tickets to be used to access community resources, attend medical appointments, as well as housing and job searches.

Youth & Family Project: Nurturing & Parent Support Program (NAPS): $20,000

NAPS is a collaboration between Youth & Family Project, Ozaukee Family Services, COPE Services, and the Ozaukee County Department of Human Services, which focuses primarily on prevention of child abuse and neglect and remediation with families where suspected or substantiated child abuse has occurred. The program experienced reduction of $22,916 in federal funds for child abuse prevention between 2008-09. UWGM Safety Net Funds would restore staff time devoted to the program and assure traditional services remain in tact. Staff would also secure modest cost of living increase, office supplies, and overhead for calendar year 2009.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee: Children of Promise program: $25,000

This program is designed specifically for children of prisoners to help them cope with the absence of their incarcerated parent(s). Matched children are professionally supervised and supported, with continual assessment for the safety of the child quality of the relationship. The evidence-based program model helps reduce problem behavior in family functioning, delinquency, ATOD, aggression/violence, and academic problems. The Program is funded through a three-year Department of Corrections grant, which provides $750,000 for the 2008-09 grant cycle, and requires $500,000 in matching funds. An unexpected decrease of $100,000 in 2008 foundation funding allocated for this program left BBBS short of meeting the matching funds required. The cost to provide this program for one child of a prisoner is approximately $1,500 a year (50% higher than the cost of the average BBBS match). In comparison, the State Department of Corrections estimates an annual cost of more than $76,000 to incarcerate one juvenile.

AIDS Resource Center of WI (ARCW): Funds for Food Purchase to Address Growing Needs of those with HIV: $15,000

ARCW’s food pantry provides food to an average of 486 clients each month. Home deliveries are provided to an additional 117. Ninety percent of ARCW patients and clients have incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. ARCW experienced a 22% increase in pantry clients during the 2008 fourth quarter, primarily due to new infections and the economic downturn. Funds will help support the cost of food, and related food program materials, i.e. bags, cleaning supplies, delivery van lease, gas, and oil. ARCW’s food pantry is the only one serving the Metropolitan Milwaukee area that specifically serves individuals and families who are both low-income and affected by HIV.

COA Youth & Family Centers: Community Meal Program Expansion to Goldin Center: $15,000

COA is proposing the expansion of its COA Riverwest Center meal program in order to implement a Community Meal Program at the Goldin Center to better serve community members, most specifically, underserved youth. Goldin Center lies in the 53216 zip code, in one of the most distressed neighborhoods. Many residents are very low income and experience food insecurity and poor nutrition. Funds will be used to begin a Goldin Center Community Meal Program. Food preparation would take place at the Riverwest Center.

Hmong American Friendship Association (HAFA): Case Management Assistant-part-time: $20,000

HAFA employs one full-time Case Manager to assist with refugee resettlement issues, such as obtaining medical assistance, SSI, energy assistance, and help with legal and immigration issues. They will use these additional funds to hire a case management assistant. Hmong refugees often do not read or write their own language; most clients have limited reading and writing skills in English. HAFA’s Case Manager assists an average of 265 clients per year. An assistant would spend half time helping to sustain/increase the number of refugees served and half-time as community organizer for the City of Milwaukee funded lead abatement program.

IMPACT: 2-1-1 @ IMPACT: Additional staff time for referral line: $18,000

2-1-1 @ IMPACT experienced an overall 8% (130,115 total calls) increase in call volume from 2007; an indicator the economic climate is taking its toll on more Milwaukee County families. An increase of roughly 10,000 calls is anticipated for 2009. The greatest call volume originates from Milwaukee County’s most economically depressed zip codes. 2-1-1 @ IMPACT helps those most in need, many of them children, to access resources including those that provide food, housing, healthcare, temporary financial assistance, and other necessities. Many who have not previously needed community resources are unfamiliar with navigating our complex social service system and are unaware of eligibility for benefits and the availability of programs that address basic needs.

Sojourner Family Peace Center (formerly Sojourner Truth House): Transportation Needs for Residents and Their Children: $12,000

Transportation is necessary for victims of domestic violence residing in a shelter to be able to continue daily routines and obligations safely. During 2008, Sojourner Truth House provided shelter services to 278 women and their 191 children. Sojourner purchased 7,660 adult and 1,4500 children’s bus tickets, and 397 taxi- cab rides to accommodate legitimate resident transportation needs (legitimate educational, medical, employment and referral responsibilities).

Grant funds will be used to purchase adult and child bus passes and taxi rides for residents and their children to and from the shelter

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About United Way of Greater Milwaukee: United Way of Greater Milwaukee has been fulfilling its mission of strengthening lives for 100 years by investing in the community’s most critical issues. United Way makes the biggest difference by bringing together resources from the entire community to help create lasting change. Last year, United Way of Greater Milwaukee improved the lives of over 420,000 people. United Way has been recognized as one of the most highly efficient charities both locally and nationally by Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest nonprofit watchdog organization, and the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin. More information about United Way of Greater Milwaukee is available at http://www.liveunitedmilwaukee.org