INITIATIVES, DIRECT SERVICES AND COLLABORATIONS

United Way of Greater Stark County is a catalyst for proactive and lasting change at the root causes of challenges facing Greater Stark County. As a convener, partner, advocate and issue educator partnering with government, education institutions, foundations, key funders and community leaders on countywide agendas, UWGSC works to address the urgent needs facing our community.

DIRECT SERVICES AND INITIATIVES

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) helps low-to-moderate income taxpayers meet basic needs and build financial assets as they continue to achieve long-term financial independence. Trained volunteers help individuals file taxes looking for all possible credits. This past season, 4166 State & Federal returns were prepared. This saved the tax payers $368,725 and brought back a total of $3,031,624 into the community with refunds! $1,228,025 of those dollars were from EITC and the Additional Child Tax credits. LEARN MORE

2-1-1 is a free, confidential information and referral help line available anytime, day or night, by phone, chat or website at www.uwstark.org. United Way’s 2-1-1 connects families and individuals in need to current resources in Greater Stark County. LEARN MORE

MyBudgetCoach® is a proven budget coaching program that matches participants with a professional for 12 months of financial coaching - at no cost. It gives individuals the tools to take control of their financial life, establishing good budgeting skills and financial habits. LEARN MORE

The Get Connected program gives high school juniors and seniors an opportunity to visit a workplace, learn about careers in their field of interest and build relationships with employees in the organization. An optional mentoring component includes follow-up visits and communication between students and the professionals they met with during the event. LEARN MORE

Whether you're an individual seeking to volunteer your time, a business seeking to engage employees, or a non-profit agency that needs the help of volunteers, the VOLUNTEER RESOURCE CENTER makes it easy for you to give back. The online volunteer matching tool is available 24/7. LEARN MORE

Through a professional services agreement with the Stark Tuscarawas Workforce Developmental Board for the Comprehensive Case Management and Employment Program, component of the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), UWGSC provides direct services to low-income youth, ages 16-24, who face barriers to employment. In 2015, 7,999 youth received services, 1,645 were placed in jobs or education and 1,703 completed certifications or degrees. The WIA Youth Workforce Development Financial Literacy Program increases opportunities for low-income youth to gain knowledge and skills surrounding personal finance and decision making. Understanding personal finance is the key towards a stronger financial future, as employment is secured and careers are created. This program is offered to youth who are deficient in basic literacy skills, homeless, school drop-outs, ex-offenders, runaways, foster children, pregnant or parenting, or need help as an English language learner. LEARN MORE

Teen Court is an adult-led, teen-driven program in which teen volunteers recommend sentences and act as jurors, bailiffs, defense attorneys and prosecutors with an adult serving as judge. Teen Court is an alternative to traditional juvenile court proceedings for first-time nonviolent offenders. This program is based on the premise that young people respond positively to the influences of their peers. Teen Court is funded through a grant from the United Way of Greater Stark County. UWGSC continues to support and fund Teen Court in recognition of its effectiveness, low recidivism for defendants and on-going benefit for student volunteers. As an alternative to adult-to-youth programs, youth-to youth systems have been successfully utilized across the country to hold youth accountable and educate them on the impact their actions have on others and themselves. Whether participating as the prosecutor, defense attorney, bailiff or jury member, Teen Court offers students the opportunity to positively impact their peers. Addressing juvenile crime gives court members a “sense of stake” in the community and empowers them to make their communities safer and to hold offenders accountable. LEARN MORE

Through an initiative between UWGSC, the BMV and the Health Departments, the ID Program provides birth certificates and photo IDs to homeless individuals & families living in a Continuum of Care shelter and those seeking and receiving addiction treatment. MORE ABOUT ID PROGRAM

 

COLLABORATIONS IN THE COMMUNITY

The partnership between the Stark-Tuscarawas Workforce Development Board and United Way of Greater Stark County provides an array of financial literacy services to customers within the OhioMeansJobs center. The United Way of Greater Stark County’s Financial Prosperity Center at OhioMeansJobs was developed to help local residents become financially stable by focusing on three primary areas: employment counseling and placement, financial education and coaching, and public benefits access. United Way of Greater Stark County envisions a community where a cycle for financial stability exists, allowing individuals and families access to build long-term, economic independence. LEARN MORE

United Way of Greater Stark County partners with Live Well Stark County, Creating Healthy Communities and the Stark County Park District through Stark Walks urban walking routes. Combining resources increased the number of routes available to the public throughout the county. Urban pathways - or green streets - are a free, easy way for residents to participate in physical activity. These pathways encourage people to explore their community, exercise and have healthier lives. LEARN MORE

The C.A.R.E. Team Initiative is a collaborative between Stark County Family Court, Stark County Job & Family Services, Stark Education Partnership, Stark County Family Council, Stark County Educational Service Center, Stark County Mental Health &Addiction Recovery, Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities and United Way of Greater Stark County. The team is comprised of teachers, administrators and staff from multiple community agencies, including law enforcement, mental health, and other social services. MORE ABOUT CARE TEAM

The Emergency Assistance Collaborative provides streamlined and client centered emergency assistance services to Greater Stark County residents who are at risk of a crisis and seeking temporary assistance for rent or utilities. The collaborative consists of 6 community partners who service the Greater Stark County area: United Way of Greater Stark County, The Salvation Army (Massillon, Alliance and Canton), Catholic Charities Serving Portage and Stark Counties and CommQuest Services, Inc. LEARN MORE