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United Way receives $300K for family financial stability programs


United Way of Central Iowa has been awarded a major three-year grant from the Siemer Instituteto provide comprehensive support to Central Iowa families working to achieve financial stability. 

The $100,000 annual grant will enable the HOPE for Stable Families initiative to offer case management and ongoing support for 55 families each year, with a focus on helping parents and children at the same time. The grant combines the HOPE Initiative and the Stable Families program and will especially serve families working to secure long-term affordable housing. 

“This grant combines and expands two successful programs to better serve entire families in moving out of poverty,” said Renée Miller, chief community impact officer at United Way of Central Iowa. “Working with many community partners, we will be able to connect families with services in education, income and health, so that the entire family can move toward financial stability now and in the next generation.”

United Way of Central Iowa started the HOPE Initiative three years ago to provide a comprehensive approach to supporting families. Through the program, many of the families served have increased their income through work, found stable housing and achieved higher education. School-aged children in the program also maintain better grades. 

Last year, HOPE served 27 single-parent families. The initiative will combine with the Stable Families program, which the Columbus, Ohio-based Siemer Institute has funded since 2012. Stable Families has served nearly 200 families who were facing homelessness.

Each family who enters the program will set goals for moving out of poverty. Case managers will especially focus on ensuring children remain at their current school and have support through the transition.

“This initiative showcases how we are addressing the needs of parents and children at the same time to break the cycle of poverty for the next generation,” said Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa. “This innovative initiative will address the complicated barriers that keep families in poverty and give their children the foundation for a better life.”

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