(Bowling Green, KY) – The United Way of Southern Kentucky Board of Directors voted to approve the recommendation of four $10,000 one-time grants for programs that provide winter utility assistance to individuals living in Warren County at a Board Meeting on October 25, 2018. These programs are made available by the following organizations: Churches United in Christ, Hope House, St. Vincent de Paul, and the Bowling Green Warren County Welfare Center.

The decision to provide funding to these particular organizations is based upon a review of local data collected through calls to the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center over the last year.

Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 is a powerful resource for help and hope in any community. 2-1-1 is an easy to remember three-digit telephone number assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for the purpose of providing quick and easy access to information about health and human services. Professional Information and Referral Specialists work with callers to assess their needs, determine their options and provide information about appropriate programs/services for the caller as needed. Instead of multiple calls leading to dead ends, with one call to 2-1-1, people can reach a trained specialist who assesses a caller’s full scope of needs and matches them to the right services with everyday needs such as food, housing, utilities or transportation.

In the last year, the need for utility assistance has remained the number one need of callers to the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center, accounting for more than 65% of the calls in Warren County (from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 4,035 referrals were made in Warren County, of which 2,642 were utility referrals).  The four organizations receiving the $10,000

one-time grants are the key organizations providing a high level of assistance to these callers.

The $40,000 in grants is the result of excess available funds in the category of Basic Needs in Warren County at the end of the last allocations cycle.

Providing support for Basic Needs as part of a Safety Net of services is one of the issue areas identified by United Way of Southern Kentucky as an area of focus. Through an extensive community research project, United Way found that community members have a strong desire to ensure that the basic needs of individuals and families across Southern Kentucky are met. Evaluation of local secondary data regarding poverty rates, etc. supports this desire.

“Being able to use the data collected as a result of calls into 2-1-1 in order to identify and impact social issues in our community was one of the goals for the Southern Kentucky 2-1-1 Contact Center since its inception,” says Debbie Hills, President & CEO of United Way of Southern Kentucky. “We are excited to now provide the opportunity for more individuals, families, and seniors living in Warren County to have a warm place to lay their heads at night this winter as a result of the evaluation of the data made available through 2-1-1. Those who are receiving this assistance will therefore have the ability to be more productive, healthier, and experience an improved quality of life overall as a result.”

For more information about United Way of Southern Kentucky, log on to the United Way of Southern Kentucky website at www.liveunitedtoday.com.

United Way of Southern Kentucky (UWSK) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that works to identify and address the issues that matter most, change conditions and improve lives. The mission of United Way of Southern Kentucky is to be the leader in bringing together the resources to build a stronger, more caring community. United Way is focused on the building blocks for good quality of life – Education, Income, Health and Safety Net. Therefore, the vision of United Way is a Southern Kentucky where all residents are educated, healthy, and financially stable. Incorporated as a charitable non-profit entity in 1956, UWSK has long served a major role in the community by bringing people together to create opportunities that make a measurable difference in the quality of life for people where they live and work.