6.29.17 - United Way of Greater Lorain County announced today that it has committed up to $1.275 million over the next three years to continue providing year-round emergency financial assistance for rent, utilities, and other emergency basic needs through its United Community Assistance Network (UCAN) Community Collaborative.
UCAN covers every zip code in Greater Lorain County through a neighborhood approach that places case managers at partner sites throughout the community. In addition to financial help, UCAN provides ongoing case management, benefits screening, and access to additional emergency resources.
Since launching in 2014, UCAN has assisted 1,306 households with over $771,748 in financial assistance. Of those households needing help, less than five percent have needed additional unplanned assistance in the future.
“We are so grateful to our donors and UCAN partners for making this community collaborative such a success,” said United Way executive director Bill Harper. “Families can stay in their homes without the loss of vital services hanging over their heads, and children can enjoy the stability that is so critical to their growth and development. We’re excited to extend our commitment to taking this proactive approach that keeps our families and community stable.”
In addition to United Way of Greater Lorain County, UCAN collaborative partners include Catholic Charities, Neighborhood Alliance, North Ridgeville Community Care, Oberlin Community Services and Salvation Army locations in Elyria, Lorain, Oberlin and Vermilion.
The partners meet regularly and continue to test improvements to become more efficient and provide better services. By creating a shared intake system as part of UCAN, partners have experienced a 50 percent reduction in the amount of time spent completing paperwork and a 30 percent reduction in the unmet need calls for rent and utilities.
The commitment from United Way will provide an amount not to exceed $425,000 per year from July 1 of this year through June 30, 2020 to provide case management at the partner locations and to fund the emergency financial assistance payments.