Improving life skills increases independence
The Heart of Illinois United Way is focused on ensuring individuals and families achieve financial stability. To ensure people can thrive, our work focuses on providing opportunities to get them on their feet again and helping during emergencies and crises.
- United Way funds distributed to the Financial Stability Impact Area support programs focused on independent living and self-sufficiency, including:
- Crisis and Disaster Services
- Employment Services
- Life Skills Education
- Legal Support
- United Way funded financial stability programs provide . . .
- Basic needs for food, shelter and clothing
- Work-force skills that improve employability
- Emergency relief that helps in times of need
- Legal assistance to address family crises
- Here are just a few ways Heart of Illinois United Way funded programs are positively impacting financial stability in central Illinois:
- 91% of families and individuals improved their life skills
- 95% of individuals increased their knowledge of how to prevent natural disaster
- 98% of individuals understood and resolved their legal issues
- 81% of individuals and families in need of housing found affordable homes
- 84% of individuals who found employment were continuously employed for one year
- 97% of low-income seniors and persons with developmental or intellectual disabilities were able to live independently with food, shelter and transportation assistance
Help Put Food on the Table
Did you know that 1 in 3 low-income families cannot afford basic household needs, often changing their eating habits or going without food to make ends meet? In Illinois, 26 percent of food pantries report having less food than is needed. With increased demand, pantries are struggling to fill the constant gap by making changes such as reducing the days they are open for distribution.
At the Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service, the Friday Night Meal program has provided more than 92,500 meals to hungry men, women and children since 2015. This program provides hot, ready-made meals as well as a box with enough groceries to supply six more meals over the weekend. Hungry men, women and children are welcome and while at the agency, they can also access a variety of resources such as healthcare, legal assistance, nutritional education, cooking tips, and more.
WORKING WITH A JOB COACH IS THE PERFECT FIT
Beginning in childhood, persons with developmental disabilities are affected by physical or intellectual impairments that impact day-to-day functioning throughout a person’s lifetime resulting in lower incomes, higher unemployment rates, and fewer housing options. The Heart of Illinois United Way invests more than $232,000 annually in programs that provide job training and coaching, integrate individuals into the community, and provide safe housing through group homes and independent living apartments.
Dan, a client at EP!C’s Community Job Placement program, has been employed at Anytime Fitness since 2015. Along with the support of his job coach, Russell, Dan helps clean equipment and serves as the fitness center’s mascot outside of the store and at special events. Friendly and loving to interact with customers, Dan is working towards being as independent as possible.
Always Ready to Help when the Unexpected Happens
Hundreds of people are affected by natural disasters every year in central Illinois. Whether it’ is a fire, a storm or a flood that damages or destroys a home, or power outages that affect daily living, natural disasters disrupt lives. The Heart of Illinois United Way supports the Salvation Army (above), the American Red Cross and the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service that are always ready to help individuals dealing with a natural disaster find food, shelter and emotional support.
A Little Help Can Make Ends Meet
Funded by the Heart of Illinois United Way, Peoria Friendship House of Christian Service helped more than 3,000 people last year improve their quality of life by providing food, personal hygiene and infant supplies to families and individuals in need. By having these most basic of needs met, Friendship House is helping people, such as Kevin, afford the expenses of housing and utilities ... while helping them gain self-sufficiency in times of need.
United Way Financial Stability Programs at Work
To see United Way funded financial stability programs at work visit our YouTube channel.