Focusing on Financial Stability
Centre County United Way fights for the Health, Education, and Financial Stability ov every person in Centre County. These are the building blocks for a good quality of life and a strong community. In order for a local, non-profit human service agency to be a part of the CCUW network, the program they receive donor-raised funds for must focus on one of these areas.
In Centre County, 17% of families are living beloiw the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) with another 28% falling in to what we call the ALICE population. Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. They are working, sometimes more than 2 jobs, but are just one problem or crisis (unexpected medical bill or car problem) away from poverty. They are not earning enough to have an emergency savings but are earning too much for government assistance.
Our partners collaborate to make their journey to financial stability achievable. Your donations help them do this vital work for all of us.
State College Community Land Trust – served fifty clients through the first-time homebuyer program established in 1996 to increase the availability of homes for working households in State College. Any income-qualified homebuyer in Centre County who wants to own a home in the State College borough is eligible for services.
Housing Transitions – assisted 2,066 individuals (1,266 households) by providing resources and/or intervention services that allowed them to remain in existing housing, avoid homelessness, or obtain suitable housing to recover from homelessness. The Centre House Emergency Shelter provided 2,410 overnights of service for seventy-eight individuals. People who are experiencing a housing related emergency or crisis are eligible for the services provided at Housing Transitions.
Food Bank of State College – helped 1,493 clients by providing emergency food that meets nutritional needs and greater food stability. The Food Bank’s service population includes the unemployed, under-employed, and other low-income individuals with physical and psychological disabilities, senior citizens on a limited income, those dealing with emergency hardships, and ALICE households (our neighbors who are working and still can not afford basic necessities). They also support food pantries across Centre County and on the Penn State campus if requested.
Centre Helps – trained volunteers answered 7,847 calls to the hotline addressing emotional support, crisis counseling, information and referral for emergency shelter, transportation, and emergency food pantry. Hotline services are broad and available 24/7/365 for any problem, any time. They also provided 120 families/264 individuals with basic needs case management including counseling, emotional support, advocacy, education, budget counseling, and resources for those in need of food, shelter, heat, and other basic needs.
Centre Safe – trained volunteers answered 1,389 calls to the 24/7 hotline from adults and children who are or have been victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. They also take calls from significant others of victims who are not known perpetrators. 37 children ranging in age from 1 year to 15 years of age were served by the Child Access Center. Safe custody exchanges and supervised visits were provided to the children and their families.
Catholic Charities – provided emergency financial assistance to 173 individuals/70 households experiencing a current, verified financial crises, regardless of faith. Assistance includes utility terminations, rent/evictions, emergency shelter, winter heating assistance, emergency medications, funerals, personal care items, food, and emergency transportation. All payments are made directly to the vendor to ensure a timely resolution to the financial crisis. Those assisted also receive budget counseling.
Interfaith Human Services – provided 234 low-income households with bedding, basic furniture items, and needed appliances at no cost, in thanks to community and business donations. This allows families to use their money on basic needs such as food, clothing, and heat. They also served 148 people through the financial care services. This program provides initial and ongoing budget counseling, education, and oversight to help people maintain balanced budgets and ensure household stability.