Since 2009, Heart of Illinois United Way partner agencies have collectively lost more than $9.4 million in state and federal funding. While our annual campaign cannot fill this gap, our efforts to be the shortest distance between community investment and a stronger, healthier region are more critical than ever.
The primary tool the Heart of Illinois United Way uses to drive local, community-wide change is our competitive grant process. Each year, we ensure that contributions to the United Way are making the greatest possible return—positively impacting more than 1,100 people every day in our community. The Heart of Illinois United Way will continue to be the leader in finding solutions that address local health and human care service needs.
Over the past few years, our Community Impact Fund has been realigned to meet this expectation. By continually assessing current conditions and historical trends, we’ve been able to establish community-based outcomes that address the education, income and health needs of the people in central Illinois.
Leaders in the health and human care industry have worked alongside our Community Impact Fund volunteers to implement steps for successful outcome management. Our 2012 strategic plan goals are funded under four impact areas: youth, families, self-reliance and health.
Youth outcomes positively, and sustainably, affect the lives of youth by helping children improve their social/emotional well-being, increase school readiness, achieve academic success and increase their knowledge of basic life skills. Family outcomes support programs that strengthen the lives of families—helping them achieve stable homes, receive help in times of crisis, obtain legal support when needed and become successful at parenting.
Self-reliance outcomes focus on helping individuals build a sustainable level of self-sufficiency in the community through housing, job training and education. Health outcomes foster a sustainable, healthy community through education, prevention, treatment and services.
While we work within our community to support vital services, it is also important to advocate on behalf of our agencies. Last month, we joined more than 45 United Ways in Springfield to support a state budget that preserves the current level of investment in Illinois’ health and human services system. United Way is also proposing policies and procedures that will help address the delayed payments to the agencies.
As the largest non-governmental funder of health and human care services in central Illinois, the Heart of Illinois United Way is dedicated to ensuring lasting, systemic change that can improve people’s lives. iBi