Program areas at HWMUW
Community investment funds of $2,907,000 went to nonprofit providers that provide direct service to people in kent county. Direct services were provided to approximately 67,000 individuals and 16,000 families. Donors may designate gifts to other United ways or specific charitable organizations. Additionally, in support of equity work, $315,000 was granted to bipoc led organizations. Donor directed designations of $1,901,000 were made to other United ways, United Way programs and/or other charitable organizations. Agency impact utilizes a volunteer driven process to review proposals for United Way funding from local non-profits. They make recommendations to United Way and its board of directors to invest in programs that will achieve measurable impact within the community driven by United Way's focus on reducing poverty through investments in family stability, youth education and financial security. Community impact decisions are based on best-practice research and reported annually.
Coronavirus emergency rental assistance program. United Way is the recipient of federally granted funding to assist renters with rental and utility assistance. During the year over 9,400 kent county residents were served by the program.
Internal community service programs include 2-1-1, kent county tax credit coalition (kctcc), volunteer center, labor participation program, women United and young leaders. United Way 2-1-1 is a free health and human services "hotline" that connects callers to more than 8,000 distinct services in 14 western and northern Michigan counties 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is staffed and managed by extensively trained and certified United Way staff members. United Way's 211 service supported Michigan residents by taking over 84,000 calls during the year. United Way kctcc engages over 150 volunteers to help working individuals and families gain economic stability with free income tax return preparation, ensuring that the earned income tax credit is received by those who are eligible.
The kent county essential needs task force and grand rapids area coalition to end homelessness focus on system change with an emphasis on collective impact and the interconnectedness of all systems. The committees are a reflection of those basic needs the community has deemed essential to the success of all residents. In addition to housing/homelessness, committees include energy efficiency, food and nutrition, kent county food policy council, economic and workforce development, transportation, and digital inclusion.
The great start collaborative (gsc) of kent county serves as the local infrastructure for governance, planning, investment, advocacy, and innovation for Michigan's great start system. Our collaborative is part of a network of 54 great start collaboratives and 60 great start parent coalitions working through the Michigan office of great start (ogs). Charged with ensuring that all children birth to age eight, especially those in highest need, have access to high-quality early learning and development programs and enter kindergarten prepared for success.