(June 15, 2018) - United Way of Southern Kentucky announced today that it is investing a total of $52,178 in Education, Health, and Safety Net programs and services for its July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 funding period in Simpson County. 13 local programs provided through 9 service providers will receive the allocated campaign dollars and donor designations.

To receive funding from United Way of Southern Kentucky, programs had to align with the four areas deemed most important by a community research project conducted by United Way that began in 2012 which included nearly 5,000 surveys, 55 Community Conversations, and large amounts of secondary data. The four broad areas of most concern were defined by the community as: Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net. Programs were also evaluated on the following IMPACT criteria: (Innovative, Measured, Partnered/Collaborative, Accountable, Community-centered, Transformative). This includes an emphasis on programs that provide services within a best practices framework, that are collaborative and integrated into the fabric of other community education, income, health and safety net efforts, that consider the goals, needs and aspirations of the communities they serve, and that are innovative.

In September of 2017, organizations with programs impacting UWSK’s strategic imperatives in each of the defined Community Impact issue areas (Education, Income, Health, and Safety Net) were asked to submit a Letter of Intent indicating their desire to complete a full application request for funding. Across the region, 63 total Letters of Intent were submitted requesting $1,429,650 in funding. Upon review by the Letter of Intent Committee, 58 of those that were submitted were invited to complete the full application across the 10 county BRADD region.

In March 2018, Simpson County specific programs who had the opportunity to complete the full application moved forward to a full review and visit with the Allocations Committee. With the full review by the Allocations Committee and recommendation to and approval by the UWSK Board of Directors complete, funding will now be awarded to the programs selected.

2018/19 marks the third funding cycle for the new community impact plan in these areas. The Community Impact plan was originally developed to create long-term community change and serve as a road map for United Way and its partners on how to build a better community that provides opportunity for all. At its core, Community Impact harnesses the power of the entire community to create significant, sustainable improvements, and thus it requires many community partners working together to solve complex, systematic problems.

Allocation dollars were determined based on the work of 104 volunteers working specifically in their home counties of Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson, and Warren. In total, these volunteers invested approximately 1,164 hours in the process which began with training sessions for all volunteers. This time generated an impact of $28,133 in service to our community (based on National Rate of Volunteer Time: $24.17 per hour). Volunteers reviewed programs, finances, governance, and outcomes to develop the recommendations for program investments.

In total, $1,024,197 will be invested across the 10 county BRADD region as part of the 2018/19 funding cycle to 52 total programs through 35 services providers.

Specifically, investments made into Education programs were made with the primary goal in advancing United Way’s BIG BOLD GOALS in Education:

KINDERGARTEN READINESS BIG BOLD GOAL: Increase BRADD area kindergarten readiness scores to 75% by 2020. Scores were at 49.4% when the goal was established. Most recent scores have been updated to 53.4%.

COLLEGE & CAREER READINESS BIG BOLD GOAL: Increase BRADD area college & career readiness scores to 80% by the year 2020.  Scores were at 65% when the goal was established. Most recent scores have been updated to 74.7%.

In SIMPSON COUNTY, $52,178 was allocated by volunteers led by Simpson County Chair Steve Thurmond, Executive Director of the Franklin-Simpson Chamber of Commerce, as follows:

EDUCATION: $23,479

            Kindergarten Readiness:

Life Choice Pregnancy Center Earn While You Learn $3,000

Simpson County Schools Little Cats & Jump Start Academy $7,500

Investments left to be made this summer for Kindergarten Readiness: $2,544

College/ Career Readiness:

Junior Achievement Essential Skills: Empowering Students through the United Way/ Junior Achievement Initiative for Workforce Development: $5,500

Investments left to be made this summer for College/ Career Readiness: $4,935

                        HEALTH: $15,827

                                    Access to Affordable Health Care:

                                    Kentucky Legal Aid Barren River Long Term Care Ombudsman $5,500

                                    Kentucky Legal Aid Benefits Counseling $2,500

                                    Safe Home & Community:

                                    BRASS Branches of BRASS: $1,000

                                    BRASS Emergency Shelter & Crisis to Protect & Empower (ESCAPE): $1,000

Hope Harbor Community Violence Education & Prevention $ 2,500

Kentucky Legal Aid Emergency Shelter & Crisis Aid to Protect & Empower (ESCAPE): $3,327

SAFETY NET: $12,872

            Access to Basic Needs:

                                    Feeding America Kentucky’s Heartland BackPack Program $1,500

Franklin-Simpson Good Samaritan Emergency Assistance $6,500

                                    Kentucky Legal Aid Emergency Legal Assistance $3,872

                                    People Serving People $1,000

The $52,178 invested in Simpson County programs for the 2018/19 funding cycle represents a $7,727 increase over investments made in the previous year (2017/18) funding cycle.

As a result of last year’s funding in Simpson County, United Way funded programs were able to share some of the following examples of outcomes during the Allocations process (a select few only listed below in addition to many others):

  • 60% of students who attended Little Cats Kindergarten Entry Program tested Kindergarten Ready.  Attendance for the Little Cats Program increased by 42% over previous year.

  • Services provided to residents to establish health care totaling $40,000 in coverage.

  • 167 Simpson County food vulnerable students have received access to food.

“As we finish the third year of investments in our new Community Impact platform of work, we are thrilled that new partners continue to join forces with us along with the tremendous impact being achieved by current partners,” says Debbie Hills, President & CEO of United Way of Southern Kentucky. “We are now beginning to see the true impact of our efforts with the significant outcomes.  These outcomes, along with our other efforts in the community such as the kindergarten readiness public relations campaign and the MyChildIsReady.com microsite, will continue to impact the positive movement forward in our community’s Kindergarten Readiness and College & Career Readiness.  We look forward to continuing the movement forward through our collaborative efforts.”

For more information on how you can make the choice to LIVE UNITED through giving, advocating and volunteering, log on to the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.  

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.

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