January 05 2021 0comment

United Way Annual Safety Net Program Expanded for COVID Relief Seeking Applicants to Provide Vital and Emergency Assistance in our Community

Due to the long-lasting and current effects of COVID within our community, the United Way of the Wabash Valley is announcing a combined funding opportunity with the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and the United Way’s longstanding annual Safety Net program funding.  By combining these efforts, it will make available over $325,000 for organizations who are addressing immediate needs and issues which are being highlighted as critical in our community.

United Way understands the needs in our community are increasing at an alarming rate and wanted to do something large-scale to address them now.  Because of this, the Wabash Valley COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, created in March of 2020 by the United Way and the Wabash Valley Community Foundation, is making available to the community it’s third round of funding and combining it with the already dedicated Safety Net funding announced in December from the United Way.  This will create over $325,000 available to organizations in the areas of safety net, or vital emergency assistance.  These needs play a pivotal role in closing the gap for those who are in desperate need in our community.

This combined effort will expand beyond just typical safety net or immediate and emergency assistance of vital needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, many of which have been amplified because of the pandemic.  The expanded COVID focus of this funding opportunity is opening it up to organizations focusing on behavioral health including suicide, domestic violence, child abuse, and other issues our community has seen an increase because of the pandemic.

Richard Payonk, Executive Director of the United Way of the Wabash Valley explained, “As the COVID pandemic continues to create additional stress and an increase in basic needs not being met in our community our Board of Directors acted to step up and provide all the funding we could to help address those needs.  This is one of the largest single-focused grant opportunities that we have ever offered the community.  Our organization’s goal is to move 10,000 families to financial stability, but first, we must meet their basic needs.  Because of this priority will be given to those that create a long-term approach to their programs.  These programs will work to address more than just the needs of today but take the opportunity to create a stronger foundation for families moving forward.  This expanded funding opportunity will provide some needed relief from those organizations who see daily first hand the true struggles of families in our community, and can help address them.”

The Safety Net/COVID-19 grant opportunity is open to any organization providing immediate and emergency assistance of vital needs such as food, shelter, clothing, or behavioral health programming in the United Way’s 6-county service area of Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, and Vigo in Indiana, and Clark in Illinois.  Organizations interested in applying can find the application and a full definition of safety net services on the United Way website at uwwv.org/funding.  United Way highly recommends attendance at a virtual informational meeting regarding the steps for application and what programs are eligible on January 7th at 12:00 noon.  The full application is due on Friday, January 29th at 4:00 pm.  If you have questions or would like to RSVP to the informational meeting contact Mark Johnson at [email protected] or 812-235-6287.