United Way To Address Youth Poverty, Violence In Focused Campaign
United Way of McLean County has narrowed its focus for next year as funding to the agency has dwindled.
United Way's Board of Directors has determined that starting in July 2019 it will fund agencies that address youth poverty, escalating violence and the disconnect between how young people and community leaders view the community through an effort called 180 United.
“Local service organizations face enormous challenges of increasing need and decreasing resources as they cope with these multi-faceted changes,” said Resource Development Director Pat Grosso. “These will continue to present challenges without a more unified approach.”
United Way has experienced a drop in funding as more companies have cut back on workplace campaigns.
“United Way can no longer be broad in our approach and a generalist in our investment in the community, particularly when what’s happening with youth in our community requires us to act with more urgency,” Grosso said.
Last summer, United Way hosted a series of listening sessions with more than 80 community leaders and more than 50 young people to provide insight into what’s affecting youth in the community.
“Our youth feel increasingly disconnected,” Grosso said. “We clearly need a coordinated approach, a united way of approaching service initiatives and programs. There could be no more critical area of focus for UWMC.”
Grosso added the agency plans to share more details about the effort in the coming months.
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