United Way supports several community programs at our agency partners. These programs align within three focus areas:

• Helping children succeed in school

• Connecting adults with job skills and economic opportunities

• Building safe and healthy neighborhoods 

Programs undergo a rigorous evaluation to ensure sound strategies and measurable results before receiving support from United Way. We hold our programs to the highest standards, so your donation has the greatest impact.


Winnebago County Community Programs

• 4Success, Northwest Community Center
The purpose of the program is to provide a safe, structured, and therapeutic environment for middle school age boys and girls serving out-of-school-suspensions. Using a holistic approach that focuses on four pillars of character building --- integrity, respect, responsibility, and citizenship --- the program helps youth transition back to school and decrease future suspensions.

• Adult Day Program, Lifescape Community Services
To provide a safe and healthy environment for seniors, who are unable to remain alone. By providing health/medication monitoring, therapy, nutrition support and activities, this program helps older adults retain or improve their mental acuity, physical abilities and quality of life. Adult Day Program also provides respite for caregivers to allow them to continue the 24/7 caregiving or to remain in the workforce.

• After School Program, Northwest Community Center
A structured therapeutic program that meets the specific needs of youth ages 5-13 during the high risk hours for youth from 2-6 pm Monday – Friday. The program operates in conjunctions with District 205 calendar schedule . The program model is developed to serve as and extension of the youth's school day offering tutoring, computer services, small and big group activities, mentoring , social skills enhancement, character building, positive reinforcement, and additional resources for parents.

• Blackhawk Unit & Orton Keys Unit, Boys & Girls Club
The Clubs IMPACT our youth through pillar programs with multiple activities and positive adult relationships. The PILLARS of IMPACT are Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Character & Leadership. Through these IMPACT Pillar Programs, youth can achieve grade level advancement through graduation, develop healthy positive life choices and become leaders in our schools and in our community.

• Bridges to the Future, Barbara Olson Center of Hope
Building Bridges to the future assist students with developmental disabilities and their families providing assistance with transition into adult services without a gap in services.

• Carlson Unit, Boys & Girls Club of Rockford
The Clubs IMPACT our youth through pillar programs with multiple activities and positive adult relationships. The PILLARS of IMPACT are Academic Success, Healthy Lifestyles, and Character & Leadership. Through these IMPACT Pillar Programs, youth can achieve grade level advancement through graduation, develop healthy positive life choices and become leaders in our schools and in our community.

• Choices, Patriot's Gateway
The CHOICES program engages youth ages 10-18 in boxing and activities to help them make responsible choices whether in the ring, school, or their neighborhoods. Boxing is the carrot that draws participants and keeps them engaged; the mentor's emphasis on academics, and gang prevention and conflict resolution activities engage them in discussions on real life situations youth deal with on a daily basis. The opportunity to participate in tournaments and achieve recognition keeps them focused on positive goals.

• Civil Legal Services, Prairie State Legal Services
Legal services provided at no charge for eligible persons to aid them in overcoming obstacles to meeting their basic human needs.

• Community Counseling, Catholic Charities (Diocese of Rockford)
Catholic Charities Counseling offers individual, couples, and family counseling/therapy in a variety of settings across Rock River Valley.

• Crisis Triage Center, Rosecrance
The Rosecrance Crisis Triage Center provides psychiatric crisis care for adults 18 years and older via rapid evaluation, intervention, and referral to appropriate levels of care. The Crisis Triage Center offers service in a comfortable, safe, and welcoming "living room" setting, providing individualized, holistic planning for recovery, including crisis intervention, stabilization, screening, assessment, referrals and links to community providers.

• Disaster Cycle Services, American Red Cross of Northwest Illinois
The American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services program focused on community preparedness, response, and recovery, from natural or manmade disasters. A disaster can strike quickly in our community- a fire spreads throughout a home, a tornado devastates our town or the Rock River barrels over its banks; flooding homes and businesses. The American Red Cross is there to assist those affected with immediate needs such as food, shelter, and other essentials. The Red Cross educates individuals and communities to prepare them for disaster, meets the emergency disaster strikes. The American Red Cross focuses on building resilience by militating against the impact of disasters on community members, meeting urgent human needs and facilitating recovery thought both direct action and by leveraging and supporting the community's engagement.

• Domestic Violence Shelter, Remedies Renewing Lives
The domestic violence shelter and the programs, services provided to shelter residents are intended to victims and their children safe from on-going domestic abuse and provide day to day necessities. All services are free and confidential.

• Domestic Violence Walk- In Counseling, Remedies Renewing Lives
Every 84 minutes a domestic violence related incident occurs in our community and the number one call to our local law enforcement agencies is domestic violence related. Domestic violence is an epidemic nationally, and also in our community. The walk-in counseling program offered at Remedies provides advocacy, support, and one on one counseling to victims of domestic violence as well as their family members. Clients who utilized the walk-in services are comprised of shelter residents who needs continued support after departing shelter so they may maintain violence free lives, individuals who may not need shelter because they have other housing options but needs counseling and support, individuals who are not sure if they are in a violent relationship and seek answers to questions, and , victims who fear they will be harmed or killed and their children/pets may be harmed or killed if they try to escape the violence.

• Emergency Housing, Shelter Care Ministries
The purpose of this grant is to pay for supportive services, rent, utility bills, transportation, food, job training, and education which will help families who are homeless and living in Emergency Housing gain and maintain financial stability.

• Emergency Services, The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Emergency Services Program provides a variety of crisis services in Winnebago County, including food, clothing, housing, and utility assistance, beds, and other material items. Casework services, assessments, referrals, and advocacy are provided for all individuals as needed. Families receiving assistance also have the option of participating in the Pathways of Hope program, where they receive intensive case management with short and long term planning to assist the family in becoming more self-sufficient.

• Excelsior Youth Center, Ken-Rock
The Excelsior Youth Center, also known as the Tittle XX Delinquency program is a 36 week program. It is offered 5 days a week with a major focus on homework, reading, math, and health initiatives for children ages 5-12 during the school year. The program is held from 2:30-5:30 during the school week.

• Family Counseling, Family Counseling Services of Northern Illinois
The purpose of this program is to support the availability of professional counseling for low income children and adults. Fees are determined on an income-based scale in an effort to make it possible for everyone in our community, regardless of their socio economic status, to get the help they need at a cost they can afford. Families and individuals call us for help in dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorders as well as family life issues e.g. relationship problems, parenting, bullying, or work stress. Also, Courts have referred those individuals returning to the community from incarceration for abuse intervention/anger management services which includes evaluation and treatment. Follow up reports from Family Counseling Services to the Courts provides information for the Courts to determine if the individual returning to the community has been rehabilitated and no longer at risk.

• Family Services, Youth Services Bureau of Illinois Valley
Parenting Enhancement Education Program is designed to educate parents and caregivers and build their skills to raise physically and emotional healthy children to reduce at-risk violence.

• Goodwill GoodTAXES, Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois
The GoodTAXES program provides free income tax preparation and filing to low income individuals and families and fosters connections to community resources.

• Grand Apartments, Zion Development Corporation
Provide safe, affordable, decent, and accessible housing to individuals that would otherwise be homeless.

• Health and Wellness, Lifescape Community Services
To provide information through health professionals and others on managing their chronic illnesses through education and communication and addressing their fears on falling by providing tips on how to prevent falls and strengthening their mind and bodies with group interactions and exercise techniques.

• Kilburn Community Center After School Program, The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Kilburn Community Center provides academic, social, and behavioral resources for elementary and middle school students through the After School Program. The program offers individualized tutoring, life skills development, and additional supportive serviced for at-risk families in our community.

• Kreative K, Blackhawk Learning Connection
Early childhood and kindergarten readiness program for three and four year olds who have been identified as being at risk.

• Lydia Urban Academy, Lydia Home Association
The academy provides an individualized education in a small school setting for low income students who have been unsuccessful in the traditional school setting.

• Marquette Slide Up Playground, Harlem Community Center
Free summer playground program to encourage reading and writing to reduce the summer slide.

• MAYA's House, Shelter Care Ministries
The purpose of this grant is to provide programs of intervention for children 0-5 whose families are homeless; pay for expenses involved in providing the space, equipment, and supplies utilized at MAYA's House which include, play tables, food, educational toys, and furnishings; supplement professional staff salaries and benefits that cares for and teaches the children in their care.

• Meals on Wheels, Lifescape Community Services
To prepare and deliver hot nutritious meals to persons age 60 or older who require nutrition support to remain independent, slow the progression of illnesses and/or retain/regain health; thus avoiding or delaying long term care placement.

• MotherHouse Crisis Nursery, Children's Home and Aid
The program provides crisis childcare to families of children from birth through age 6, who are experiencing crises, such as homelessness and domestic violence.

• Pregnancy, Early Parent, and Adoption Counseling, Children's Home and Aid
The PEPAC program provides counseling, interventions, support, and referral services, and adoption education/planning to pregnant women and their families.

• Project Opportunity, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
The Project Opportunity Program is a staff-led after-school outreach program for girls in grades K-5 in the Rockford Public School District. Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois currently serves approximately 650 girls per year at more than 15 community sites, including elementary schools, community centers, Boys and Girls sites, and daycares. Girls are engaged in Social Emotional Learning curricula that promotes the development of self- esteem, positive values, life skills, financial literacy, and conflict resolution. The program has been offered for more than 15 years and has since served nearly 10,000 girls in the Rockford area. In FY17 GSNI intends to expand this program to more schools and neighborhood housing complexes, with a goal of serving 1,000 girls.

• Project Read, The Literacy Council
Project READ works intensively with adults who have low literacy or low English language skills in order to improve their educational levels and realize self-sufficiency goals. Project READS's underlying premise is that adult literacy has exponential goals. Project READ's underlying premise is that adult literacy has exponential community benefits. An adult with improved reading or English skills typically is more employable, more engaged in community life, and better able to encourage their children in reading and in school.

• RAISE & Black/Latino Achievers, YMCA Rock River Valley
Together, RAISE (reaching and inspiring for education) and Black/Latino achievers provide educational and career exploration, college readiness and soft skill development to high school students from Rockford Public Schools.

• Rapid Rehousing, Shelter Care
Based on emerging research on best practices for families experiencing homelessness outlined by HUD and non governmental homeless advocates, Shelter Care Ministries is changing the name and structure of our Transitional Housing program to a rapid rehousing program. Instead of sheltering families for up to 24 months in an apartment owned or leased by Shelter Care, which the family must move out of at the end of the program, Shelter Care will now house families in houses or apartments of the families' choosing from a private landlord. Supportive services, case management, and rent will still be provided for up to 24 months just like in the current Transitional Housing structure but families will select their own permanent housing immediately, ending their occurrence of homelessness quicker.

• Redeploy, Youth Services Network
Redeploy provides an array of evidence based services to high risk juvenile offenders between the ages of 13-18.

• Refugee Resettlement, Catholic Charities (Diocese of Rockford)
Refugees are here to build new lives. The lack of functional English is a common obstacle in gaining employment and becoming self-sufficient as a contributing member of our community. Once conversant in English, refugees become aware of job opportunities and can interview for employment; they must be ready to understand safety and other concerns when beginning employment. Stronger English language skills improve academic performance for school aged family members. Refugees are victims of war, torture, and persecution for political, religious, and ethnic reasons. In fear for their own lives and lives of their families, they are forced to leave the country they once called home. For many years they have lived in uninhabitable environments. Once here they work to make America home and become full members of the community as soon as possible. English is critical to achieve self- sufficiency.

• Roots & Wings Youth Leadership and Urban Agriculture Program, Angelic Organics Learning Center
Roots & Wings utilizes an operating organic farm on the grounds of Rockford Housing Authority's Blackhawk Courts to offer residents real world opportunities to learn, build, practice and master positive life skills.

• Safe Families for Children, Lydia Home Association
SFFC hosts vulnerable children and creates extended family like support for desperate families though a community of volunteers motivated to keep children safe.

• ScoutReach, Boy Scouts of America Blackhawk Area Council
ScoutReach is an at risk youth program that teaches youth life skills and core values found in the traditional Scouting program so that they can grow up to be role models as principled adults and be active members of their communities.

• Solutions Counseling, Youth Services Bureau of Illinois Valley
Provides mental health services by licensed Mastered prepared therapists trained in child and family centered interventions, in a humane and compassionate manner. We meet people where they are, and engage them in helping to develop their own inner strengths and skills.

• Strong Families Make Strong Communities Through Technology, Ken-Rock
Ken-Rock Community Center is a year round series of computer training classes for adults.

• Teen Family Support Program, Easter Seals
The Teen Family Support Program provides prenatal and parenting information and support to teen age parents living in Winnebago County.

• Teens In Transition, RAMP
Teens in Transition is Common Core curriculum designed to positively impact high school students with disabilities preparing them for post-secondary education, employment, and living independently in the community.

• Women's Restorative Justice Program, The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army Women's Restorative Justice Program provides lodging and case management to women who have been incarcerated in the Winnebago County Jail or are returning home to Winnebago County after serving prison time with the Department of Corrections. Some of the program paricipants are court ordered into the program as an alternative to jail or prison time. The goal of the Women's Restorative Justice Program is to help the women entering the program transition into an independent living environment by offering case management, lodging, and life skills training.

• Young Mom and Dad's Groups, Rockford MELD
Parenting Groups for young mothers and fathers are held in local high school and community locations.

• YouthBuild, Comprehensive Community Solutions
YouthBuild is a comprehensive youth and community development program that addresses several core issues. Those include education, housing, employment, crime prevention & leadership. It engages out of school youth ages 16-24 and provides an alternative path to educational completions and career and career oriented employment.


Ogle County Community Programs

• Bereavement Care, Serenity Hospice and Home: This program assists patients and their families, as well as those in the general public in the grieving process, through education and by providing the support, strategies and skills necessary to allow individuals to return to productive, active and healthy lives.

• Civil Legal Assistance, Prairie State Legal Services: This program allows citizens of lower income to overcome the financial boundaries to seek legal help for basic human needs. Residents are given further legal protection when further action is needed to prevent them from homelessness or family violence.

• Comprehensive Care Coordinator and Adult Protective Services, Lifescape Community Services, Inc.: This program provides education to seniors regarding abuse, neglect and exploitation as well as provides resources to enhance their quality of life and obtain their level of independence to prevent premature institutionalization.

• Comprehensive Youth Development, Boys Scouts of America, Blackhawk Area Council: This program teaches the participating youth self-sufficiency practices and includes many activities involving math, reading, measuring, and other academic skills. It also teaches self-confidence, resulting in improved academic performance.

• Consumer Transportation, Village of Progress: This program transports individuals with disabilities in Ogle County to and from their place of residence to the Village of Progress where they participate in the developmental training program, regular work program and/or social and recreational programs.

• Counseling Component, Focus House: This program provides intensive counseling to both youth and their families. The program helps youth make changes in their beliefs and attitudes that will enable them to be successful when returning to their families and community.

• Domestic Violence Walk-In Services, HOPE of Ogle County: This program provides shelter, individual and group counseling, advocacy and education to assist victims and their children of domestic and dating violence.

• Family Advocacy and Counseling, Shining Star: This program provides counseling, therapy, crisis intervention, and support services for children of sexual or physical abuse and non-offending family members. The program also provides financial assistance for travel to counseling sessions.

• Family Support, Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago (Rockford Region): This program reduces the risk of an out-of-home placement of a child with disabilities. The program supports families of children with disabilities by them teaching various social activities and providing information on topics such as bullying, behavior, and discipline.

• Food Distribution, Rochelle Christian Food Pantry: This program provides food to individuals and families in need whom reside in the Rochelle area.

• Girl Scout Leadership Experience, Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois: This program focuses on self-esteem, positive values, healthy relationships, conflict resolution and asset building for all girls. This program also teaches girls to discover their values and how to explore the world; connect by cooperating with others locally and globally; and learn how to take action to make the world a better place.

• Health and Fitness, Mt. Morris Senior Center: This program provides elderly adults the ability to avoid institutionalism and the freedom to be in their own homes. The program offers services, resources, information, and social interaction to enhance their mental and physical well-being.

• Manor and Terrace Daily Activities, Pinecrest Community: This program supports nursing home residents with daily activities that are tailored to each individual. These activities focus on enhancing physical and mental well-being and creating healthy relationships with family, friends, volunteers, caregivers, and staff.

• Nutritional Services, Lifescape Community Services, Inc.: This program provides nutritionally balanced meals to homebound seniors as well as at senior dining sites. Food delivery helps overcome the limitations that the recipients face, but also provides social interaction.

• Ogle County 15th Judicial Court Advocacy, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA): This program trains and supports volunteers to speak for neglected or abandoned children appointed by the juvenile court system. The program seeks to shorten the children's time between foster care and placement in a safe permanent home.

• Ogle County Probation Reporting Center, Focus House : This program provides a community based alternative to placing youth in a secure detention facility. In addition, the program provides an alternative to the schools of Ogle County for students facing school suspensions.

• Ogle County Senior Center, Rock River Center: This program provides educational, medical and nutritional information as well as recreational opportunities for older adults to stimulate their body and mind, build friendships and improve their quality of life.

• Residential Component, Focus House: This program provides homes for youth and is the only residential alternative used by the judges in Ogle County in lieu of a commitment to the Department of Juvenile Justice. The program provides a safe, nurturing, structured environment for youth where they are taught self-worth, responsibility and respect to enable them to successfully return to their families and community.

• School Based, Lifescape Community Services, Inc.: This program provides individual and group counseling, classroom presentations and crisis intervention to students in the Polo School District. The program helps children address personal concerns so that they will be better able to focus their energy on their school work and developing academically, socially and emotionally.

• Senior Information Services, Rock River Center: This program provides medical information and assistance services to older adults, the disabled and their caregivers and is the designated aging and disability resource center for Ogle County.

• Senior Transportation, Hub City Senior Center: This program provides door-to-door transportation for senior citizens, people living with disabilities, and low-income individuals residing in the greater Rochelle area. Transportation is provided to physical therapy, doctor's offices, and counseling appointments as well as to the senior center for fellowship, meals and educational programs.

• Sexual Assault and Abuse Counseling, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling: This program provides counseling and support services to survivors of sexual assault and abuse, and their families. The program also educates the community in reducing the risk of becoming a victim.


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