United Way invests in local agencies to fight poverty

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COLUMBIA – The Heart of Missouri United Way has invest money in 16 local programs that are addressing local poverty.

In its 2016-17 Community Impact Investments program, The United Way decided on two categories to fund: local income and “safety net” programs.

The United Way received $1.8 million in funding requests from agencies that fit into these programs, but were only able to allocate $725,000.

Rachel Finch, Community Impact Director with the United Way, said the decision of what agencies to support is based on what is needed most in each community.

“The way we get down to the final 16 is not just about the agency, it’s about the specific programs and services that they’re providing, how well they fit into our targets, and what the highest community needs are,” Finch said.

Services for Independent Living is among those chosen.

Executive DirectorTec Chapman said the investments from the United Way are crucial for the services the SIL and other agencies provide.

“There’s always unmet need that we’re always constantly struggling to meet. But every dollar counts,” he said. “Every dollar, we do what we can to maximize that."

The agencies funded are:

  • City of Refuge
  • Columbia Community Montessori
  • Job Point
  • Love, INC
  • Services for Independent Living
  • United Community Builders
  • Youth Empowerment Zone
  • Mid-Missouri CASA
  • The Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri
  • Mid-Missouri Legal Services
  • Rainbow House
  • Salvation Army
  • Sustainable Farms & Communities
  • True North
  • Turning Point at Wilkes Boulevard United Methodist Church
  • Voluntary Action Center