News

Loves Park Police hosting its first Strong Neighborhoods Days block party for area residents

Strong Neighborhoods Days

(Rockford, Ill. - 08/10/2016) – United Way of Rock River Valley is hosting a Strong Neighborhoods Days block party in collaboration with Loves Park Police. The community outreach event will be held at Maple Elementary School and provides an informal opportunity for neighbors to meet and engage with local police officers. Free food and activities is available for residents. The Loves Park Fire Department and Winnebago County Sheriff's Department will also lead equipment demonstrations. This is the first Strong Neighborhoods Days block party held in Loves Park.

The Rockford Police Department and United Way launched the first of these community outreach events last summer and continued the block parties throughout Rockford this summer. The block parties evolved from the success of the former "Cops on the Block" events that have taken place in previous summers. Loves Park city officials approached United Way about hosting a Strong Neighborhoods Days block party in the community after seeing its success in Rockford.

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley fights for the health, education and financial stability for every person in every neighborhood. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

Winnebago County selected to receive $160,008 of Federal grant money for Emergency Food and Shelter

Federal Emergency Management Agency

(Rockford, Ill. - 07/19/2016) – Winnebago County has been chosen to receive $160,008 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. This amount reflects a 23 percent reduction ($47,738) from Phase 32, which awarded $207,746.

The local Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Board, consisting of representatives from local nonprofit human service agencies, governmental entities, and the community at large, will determine how the funds are to be distributed among the emergency food and shelter programs run by local service agencies in Winnebago County. FEMA is responsible for recommending agencies to receive these funds and any additional funds made available under this phase of the program.

Under the terms of the grant from the National FEMA Board, local agencies chosen to receive funds must:

1) be private, voluntary non-profits or units of government;

2) be eligible to receive Federal funds;

3) have an accounting system;

4) practice nondiscrimination;

5) have demonstrated the capability to deliver emergency food and/or shelter programs; and

6) if they are a private voluntary organization, have a voluntary board. Winnebago County qualifying service providers are urged to apply.

 

Public or private agencies interested in applying for Emergency Food and Shelter Program funds may access an application from the links below. Completed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 5, 2016. It is recommended that applications be hand delivered to avoid any mail delays to the attention of Linda Sandquist, United Way of Rock River Valley, 612 North Main Street, Suite 300, Rockford, Illinois 61103-6929.

 

Additional Resources:

Winnebago County PHASE 33 Application: PDF | WORD 

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

After a year with no state budget, fourth United Way of Illinois survey shows accelerating damage to those in need of services, sector viability

(CHICAGO, IL) — A new survey conducted by United Way of Illinois (UWI), the statewide association of 52 local United Ways and the largest non-governmental funder of health and human services in the state, shows Illinois' year-long budget impasse continues to starve the nonprofit sector and cause harm to vulnerable citizens across the state.

In the fourth United Way of Illinois survey, more than half of safety net and mental health providers responded that they have been unable to meet the needs of clients for the past year. Survey respondents also indicated that the disruption in services will have long-term effects on the people they serve as extended waiting lists, the elimination of programs and triaging of clients mean more people are moving into crisis situations. The mentally ill who are not getting psychiatric services go to emergency rooms or jails and some of the young people who aren't in out-of-school time and job training programs become involved in the criminal justice system.

As of June 2016:

- 54% of survey respondents anticipate they will have to cease serving clients in six months if the impasse continues

- Almost two-thirds of survey respondents reported making program and/or operational cuts, up from 48% in January 2016

- Of those agencies, 91% have cut the number of clients they serve, leaving nearly 1 million clients in Illinois without critical support, most significantly in the areas of mental health, substance abuse services and childhood education

- More than 50% of safety net and mental health providers indicated they could not meet the needs of their clients for the past year due to the impasse

 

"We honestly wished we would have different news" said Kristi Long, United Way of Illinois Board Chair. "The survey results show accelerating damage since January—more program cuts, more clients left unserved, more debt. The mentally ill, disabled seniors and young children in need of educational opportunities—these people can't wait for the next election."

Organizations have been unable to come close to filling the gap left by the state through additional fundraising efforts and have been forced to take extreme measures in order to continue serving clients. Agencies reported cutting back or eliminating vital programs, draining cash reserves and credit lines, laying off staff and considering the possibility of shutting their doors entirely. In order to continue to serve clients:

- 45% of respondents have been forced to lay off staff, up from 24% in January 2016

- 59% of respondents have utilized their cash reserves

- 33% of respondents have utilized lines of credit

- Respondents have taken on a combined $38 million in debt

- 36% of agencies anticipate they will have to close their doors in six months if the impasse continues

 

This is the fourth survey conducted by United Way of Illinois on the state budget stalemate. The survey was conducted June 1-June 8, 2016, and responses were received from 429 human services agencies that receive state funding. Responses were received from every county in Illinois. Survey respondents represented a range of service categories including youth development, early childhood education, mental health, emergency housing, senior services and employment training and varied in budget size from less than $500,000 to more than $15 million.

For the full results, visit www.uw-mc.org/4thbudgetsurvey. For more information about the survey or to schedule interviews, please contact Jarid Brown at 217-836-2656 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Karyn Ruhl at 847-431-7068 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Resources:

Fourth Agency State Budget Survey - Statewide Results | Northern Illinois Results

 


 

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF ILLINOIS

United Way of Illinois is a statewide association of 52 local United Way organizations focused on long-term community change through resources in education, income, health and basic needs. United Way advocates for sound policies affecting the non-profit sector's capability to serve vulnerable populations.

Now accepting nominations for 2016 Frank Ware Award of Excellence

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(Rockford, Ill. - 07/14/2016) – United Way of Rock River Valley is now accepting nominations for the 2016 Frank Ware Award of Excellence, awarded to individuals in our area who exemplify a high-level of excellence in service to others, human service advocacy, and an unwavering commitment to our community. This award honors the spirit of Frank Ware, beloved former President/CEO of Janet Wattles Center, who spent over 30 years advocating and fighting for quality care on behalf of the most marginalized members in this community. His high standards and expectations resulted in better care for those in need.

One award recipient will be determined by a committee of community leaders and announced during United Way's Campaign Kickoff breakfast event in September. Nominations are due by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 24 and are available at www.wevolunteer.org.

 

Previous recipients include:

Justice Kathryn Zenoff, 17th Judicial Circuit – 2015

Susan Razbadouski, LCSW, ACSW, Family Counseling Services – 2014

Megan Cox, Rosecrance – 2013

Sherry Fink, Rosecrance Ware Center – 2012

Julie Barthels, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling – 2011

 

For more information on United Way's Frank Ware Award of Excellence, contact Linda Childers by calling 815-968-5400.

 


United Way of Rock River Valley

United Way of Rock River Valley advances the common good in Winnebago and Ogle counties, creating opportunities for a better life by focusing on education, income, and health. United Way recruits people and organizations that bring the passion, expertise and resources needed to get things done. LIVE UNITED® is a call to action for everyone to become a part of the change.

[2-1-1 Advisory] Monitoring Severe Weather Conditions

211 Severe Weather Advisory

[CANCELLED - Thursday, June 23, 2016]

 

[Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 9:55 AM]

United Way of Rock River Valley's 2-1-1 information and referral line is closely monitoring weather conditions after a Hazardous Weather Outlook was issued by National Weather Service for Northern Illinois, which includes Winnebago and Ogle counties. In the event of severe weather occurrence, United Way 2-1-1 will be placed on alert, and operators will be ready to respond to incoming calls to provide severe weather emergency information and referrals for services. In emergency situations, callers should always call 911.

In the meantime, residents in Winnebago and Ogle counties are encouraged to follow weather condition reports through local media sources. Residents may also dial 2-1-1 or 888-865-9902, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for information and referrals regarding any severe weather preventative efforts, road conditions alerts, and locations of emergency shelters. All calls are free and call specialists support multiple languages.

United Way 2-1-1 works with local government agencies and human services organizations to provide the public a source for any severe weather related information.