The United Way of Kosciusko’s income focus for our community is to “increase economic self-sufficiency of working Kosciusko County individuals and families as measured by an increase in the percentage above the poverty level and a reduction in housing cost burden.”
In order to reach this goal to help economic self-sufficiency, United Way supports several programs in our county that supply budgeting classes, ways to obtain needed education and even help during a family crisis.
“The programs we fund under the income focus of United Way are committed to helping individuals and families become economically self-sufficient. While there are some basic needs provided for, United Way partners with organizations that provide assistance in budgeting, employability and many other aspects in gaining self-sufficiency,” said Josh Gordon, vice president of United Way.
Combined Community Services for years has offered the  “Project Independence” program as a means for economic self-sufficiency and help with getting through short-term crisis with their “Hands Up” program. Last year, Project Independence boasted of college degrees for five clients and had 12 families become economically self-sufficient. This year they already have five families who have accomplished economic self-sufficiency and added another three college degrees for their clients.
“Moving Forward,” a program through the Bowen Center, and the “Stewardship Program” of Fellowship Missions also facilitate success stories. When a person can become certified for a CNA or a QMA then life changes are positive. Also, when a person gets the emotional support and education they need to be able to overcome past obstacles of employment, the entire community benefits.
United Way continues to support programs that reduce housing costs. Housing Opportunities of Warsaw aids clients with several programs, from “Emergency Home Repair” to “Home Energy Impact” programs. Reductions in home repair bills and ways to reduce energy bills has been a great assistance to residents in Kosciusko County. Making homes affordable to live in and safe for families is the goal.
A livable wage, a stable job and enough income to support a family are the goals of the income programs that your donor dollars support.