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United Way of Central Maryland Announces $8.27 Million in Funding to Stabilize Families and Support the Local Safety Net

Organization’s fiscal year 2016 investments to support Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties and Baltimore City

BALTIMORE (July 22, 2015) – United Way of Central Maryland’s Board of Directors has approved community investments totaling $8.27 million for the fiscal year starting July 2015.

“Thanks to the generosity of local companies, foundations and individuals, we are able to continue our important efforts to change the odds for families and communities facing poverty,” said Mark Furst, president and CEO of United Way of Central Maryland.

With the announcement of $8.27 million in grants and other community investments for fiscal year 2016, United Way of Central Maryland will support both the local safety net as well as help more families become stable and successful. United Way’s service territory encompasses Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties and Baltimore City.

Connecting People to Basic Human Services 

Through its six Community Partnership Boards, United Way of Central Maryland has awarded 59 operating grants, totaling approximately $1.36 million, to organizations delivering critical basic needs services throughout central Maryland, including emergency housing, quality afterschool programming, health care services and more. An additional pool of $179,000 has been reserved to support nonprofit organizations that experience unanticipated surges in demand for services or experience emergencies during the fiscal year.

Another $1.29 million has been allocated to the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline and the 2-1-1 Maryland system statewide. 2-1-1 is a confidential information and referral service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in 150 languages. In FY 2015, the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline answered more than 100,000 calls related to critical assistance with everything from food, shelter and health care to utility bills and tax preparation assistance.

United Way also has committed $600,000 to its longstanding partner, American Red Cross – Greater Chesapeake, specifically to underwrite its year-round local disaster response efforts. Another $150,000 has been allocated to this year’s Project Homeless Connect being held on September 24, where more than 1,500 clients experiencing homelessness are expected to receive services onsite from 150 providers.

Putting Families on the Path to Stability 

United Way is supporting various Family Stability initiatives with investments totaling $4.69 million. United Way of Central Maryland believes that safe, affordable housing, quality education and access to healthy food and healthcare are essential to keeping families intact and making them self-sufficient.

United Way programs specifically targeting homeless and nearly homeless families include prevention (helping at-risk families stabilize before they become homeless), shelter diversion (diverting homeless families from traditional shelters to permanent housing, accompanied by comprehensive case management), andfinancial education/workforce development (financial literacy, asset-building, budgeting and employment). Since their launch in May 2012, through March of this year, these programs have helped 387 families, kept 570 children in their school of origin and diverted 138 families from homeless shelters into housing.

The organization’s Access to Healthy Food Initiative aims to increase access to healthy food, especially in poor neighborhoods with limited access to full-service grocery stores. Over nearly four years, the program has sourced and distributed 8.3 million pounds of healthy food, equivalent to 6.9 million meals.

United Way also plans to expand its work in education and will soon launch an Early Warning and Response System, an innovative intervention program for students who exhibit early signs of not being on the trajectory for high school graduation. In addition, with the opening of the new United Way Family Center at Ben Franklin High School last fall, 18 teen parents are now on the path to high school graduation, with three graduating this past May.

For more information about United Way of Central Maryland’s work, or to find out how to help change the odds, visit www.uwcm.org.

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About United Way of Central Maryland

For 90 years, United Way of Central Maryland has been changing the odds for families and communities by investing in the building blocks of a self-sufficient life: education, financial stability and health. Family Stability is at the core of this work, which includes helping children attain the education they need to be successful; preventing homelessness and providing, safe, affordable housing; and increasing access to healthy food and healthcare. All this is underpinned by a safety net of critical service supports to meet people’s basic needs, plus the 2-1-1 Maryland United Way Helpline, which answered more than 100,000 calls for help last fiscal year. United Way of Central Maryland serves the city of Baltimore and Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard counties. To help change the odds for families and communities in central Maryland or learn more, visit www.uwcm.org.

United Way of Central Maryland Announces $8.27 Million in Funding to Stabilize Families and Support the Local Safety Net