For release:  Monday, April 3, 2017
Contact:       Rebecca Knight, Director of Communication at United Way of Allen County
                        260-469-4014 direct; 260-515-8875 cell;

United Way of Allen County to refocus work

For the past year, United Way of Allen County engaged in a series of listening sessions as part of an effort to more effectively focus our work. These Community Conversations, part of The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s program of turning outward, involved more than 500 people from diverse cross-sections of our community.
In these conversations, we asked participants to share their aspirations for Allen County. We listened to what they wanted their community to be. We used that information, as well as our own knowledge, to better focus our work with the idea of moving the needle on persistent issues faced by working families struggling to achieve financial stability. Between those families and those falling below the federal poverty guideline, more than 35 percent of Allen County’s population struggles to provide for their own basic needs or make ends meet.
“Through these conversations, our community entrusted us with this information and it looks to us to further work in these areas,” said David Nicole, president and CEO of the United Way of Allen County. “As an organization, United Way is uniquely positioned to drive the conversation on these issues, and to convene resources to meet these needs in very concrete and intentional ways.”
We are now engaging in a series of meetings with our funded partners and other social service agencies to identify what work is already being done and where we may put our resources to the best use. In addition to our continued support for basic needs, we believe that by focusing more resources to address the issues faced by families struggling to make ends meet, we will have a greater impact on the entire community.