Since 2007, the Heart of Illinois United Way has recognized on partner agency each year for their outstanding leadership, collaboration and engagement with the United Way. At the United Way’s 2018 Annual Meeting, South Side Office of Concern received the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award.
A member of the Heart of Illinois United Way family of agencies since 1986, SSOC was founded more than 35 years ago to feed the hungry and provide information and referral to help neighborhood members improve their lives eventually leading to the foundation of the Peoria Anti-Hunger Coalition.
United Way funding in 1986 provided case management and services for people with disabilities. Growth continued and the agency began receiving funding for mental health services from the Illinois Department of Human Services. In 1989, the agency secured funding from HUD and purchased its first house to begin a community housing program. Throughout the 1990s, permanent supportive housing offerings continued to expand with the acquisition of additional houses for adult males with mental health issues. An employment program began in 1996 to complement the growing agency’s identified gaps in its services.