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United Way invests $7 million in local nonprofits to meet community's basic needs

Basic needs include food assistance, childcare and housing
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Food shelves at the OUR Center

A $7 million investment boosts nonprofits’ reach in helping families recover from the pandemic.

The Mile High United Way announced, yesterday, that they will invest $7 million into the Metro Denver, Boulder, and Broomfield communities. Seven Longmont nonprofits, including the St. Vrain Valley School District, The Inn Between, HOPE, TLC Learning Center, Longmont Meals on Wheels, the Wild Plum Center and the OUR Center made the recipient list.

The investment was created after a “trying year for our community,” stated a news release by Mile High United Way. Nonprofits are able to use the funds to help individuals meet their most basic needs including food assistance, childcare and housing. 

“This last year alone, Mile High United Way received over 100,000 contacts from community members seeking help from the Mile High United Way 211 Help Center,” stated the news release. 

The OUR Center saw an increase in service over the past year as families and individuals struggled to find affordable housing and food. 

The OUR Center has served over 67,179 meals since the beginning of the pandemic. Additionally it issued 2,142 vouchers for its Homeless Prevention program totaling $1,424,754. This program includes assistance with rent and other housing assistance and utility assistance, Development Director Elaine Klotz said via email.

These types of assistance are expected to be needed into the unforeseeable future, said Marc Cowell, OUR Center executive director, in an interview earlier this year. 

“This investment quite literally allows us to ensure children have a safe place to live, families have food on the table, parents are connected to childcare resources so they can return to the workforce, and our families most basic needs are met,” said Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way. “We are proud of the 111 selected organizations who will be joining us.”

The OUR Center received a grant of $50,000 from the United Way that will be put to use meeting the community’s needs around food, housing, utilities, minor medical expenses, clothing and household needs, budget counseling and referrals to other resources, Klotz said.

“This will help members of our community stabilize their lives and provide healthier outcomes through access to nutritious food, rent/housing assistance to maintain housing stability and prevent homelessness, and provide utility assistance, which also helps with housing stabilization and families being able to focus on their goals without the threat of inaccessible housing and food,” Klotz said.

The Inn Between also received a $50,000 grant to help stabilize local families.

“Through this ongoing partnership, we will be able to stabilize many families and individuals facing homelessness with safe, decent, affordable housing and supportive resources that can help them cultivate brighter futures,”  Associate Director of The Inn Between Laura Liotino said via email.

Macie May

About the Author: Macie May

I moved to Longmont from Oklahoma in 2014 with my two boys. It didn't take long for Longmont to become my home. I enjoy getting to know the people here and being part of such a vibrant and innovative community.
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