Stable families are the foundation of a strong community. ALICE families face real obstacles to become stable.
Our focus is twofold; we are creating both ladders to stability and pillars of support.
Ladders to Stability
Ladders help ALICE households increase skills and tools to change their future. This can include new behaviors, education or skills.
Pillars of Support
Pillars help support ALICE households as they climb ladders. These include programs that make it possible for ALICE households to embrace new opportunities. i.e. Boys & Girls Club allows working families a safe place for their kids to be after school while they work or attend classes.
READING IS A TEAM SPORT
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr. Seuss
Our READ UNITED programs are helping passionate adults read together with children, grades K-4. In 2015, 374 people volunteered to read for 2,831 hours with children in Elkhart County schools, impacting 3,699 kids.
Find more information about our READ UNITED programs, including how to volunteer, click here.
YOGA FOR YOUR BRAIN
A growing body of research points to the critical role that sensory/motor neural development through the vestibular system plays in the learning process. This development cannot be bolstered by a traditional desk top learning environment. Minds In Motion MAZE, blends developmental gymnastics, balance exercises and complex movements through a rotating set of protocols. This "yoga for the brain," ranges from full-body exercises to isolated eye movements. Over 10,000 children engage in Minds In Motion weekly at 60 different locations in Elkhart County.
KIDS IN THE CLUB
The Boys & Girls Club is a great place to hang out after school. It's also a great place to study and get some homework help when you need it. Over 700 local school children made use of the Learning Center in their local Club. 64% of the students who took advantage of remedial assistance sessions demonstrated at least one full grade-level of improvement.
128 people participated in Money for Life, an 8 hour workshop that helps people set goals, identify their needs and wants and understand the importance of net worth. The average credit score for participants increased 30 points within a year's time.
THE "AMERICAN DREAM"
The Homeownership Center helps participants reach for the American Dream of owning their own home. Participants develop a spending plan that will allow them to save money and continue paying their monthly obligations. Counselors find ways for participants to develop a savings habit that helps them attain their goal within 4 years. Regular counseling sessions help participants focus on their ultimate goals and reinforce the need to maintain a saving discipline. 98 people were served in the Homeowner Center in 2014 with 60 of those individuals receiving IDA (Individual Development Account) totaling $280,558 to be used to purchase their chosen asset (including education, home ownership or home rehab).
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou
Over the last three years:
- 94 families earned the keys for their first home
- 79 families saved enough to enroll in college
- 59 families improved their credit scores by 30+ points
WHEELS = INDEPENDENCE
For less mobile older adults who are living independently, whether wheelchairs are in use or not, there are not many options for transportation. Because of you, 563 seniors were able to remain independent and still make it to their appointments. Of the 11,211 trips in 2014, many were used for doctor appointments, grocery shopping and to visit friends. Transportation for some older adults is the only thing standing in the way of aging successfully in their homes or living in a center.
6,280 people were able to receive their lifesaving medication at a discount. 15,348 prescriptions were filled, allowing individuals to maintain a quality life and sometimes remain employed. For every $1 invested in the Medicine Assistance Program (MAP) $38 in medications are provided to someone in need, providing a total savings of $3,286,195 in Elkhart County.
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is one of the most frightening things that can happen to a person. Ribbon of Hope wraps those with cancer in a supportive blanket providing outreach to those fighting a difficult battle. In Elkhart County, more than 1,100 new cancer diagnoses are made each year. Cancer does not discriminate. It invades the life of the single mom, the senior citizen, the homeless, the atheist, as well as those who have a strong faith connection. Because of you, 341 newly diagnosed cancer patients were assisted with 62 receiving a United Way CANCER 101 journal to help them on their journey.
WE HELP FAMILIES IN CRISIS
United Way 2-1-1 helps familites in their hour of need, providing resources, options, and hope. Efficiently directing people to what they need, the 2-1-1 hotline buts through the red tape and eases the tension. In 2015, there were 5,676 Elkhart County calls to 2-1-1 and 1,038 online requests for assistance. With one easily remembered number, help is never far away.
FEED THE HUNGRY
33,337 hot meals were served to the hungry in 2015, and 20 tons of food was collected. Because of you, people in Elkhart County who are hungry have access to food.
AND STRENGTHEN COMMUNITIES
Our work focuses on building supportive networks. When people have resources, they can become leaders and create change.