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2011-2013 LIVE UNITED Program Partners

We are proud to invest United Way funding in these local programs for the 2011-2013 funding cycle.  By clicking on the program names, you can access brief descriptions of each program.

You can view the news release about our 2011-2013 Investments by clicking here.  On May 23, 2011, we announced $150,000 in funding for 3 additional programs.  You can read the news release on those additional investments by clicking here.

 

Agency

Program

Platform

Amount

African American Cultural Center Educational Cultural Enrichment Education $46,000

The Belle Center 

Life In A Positive Light 

Education   

$54,000 

Belmont Shelter Corp. Individual Development Account Program Income $49,750
Big Brothers/Big Sisters Be a Friend Program  Mentoring Education $70,500
Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo Bridging the Gap Education $200,000
Boys and Girls Club of East Aurora Project Learn Education $64,000
Boys and Girls Club of Orchard Park Project Learn Education $20,000
Boys and Girls Club of the Northtowns of WNY Youth Development Assessment Program Education $63,000
Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers BFNC Free Tax Preparation Network Income $100,000
  Moot Senior Center Health & Wellness $72,000
Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network Community Health Worker Program Health & Wellness
$43,500
Buffalo Urban League Senior Multi Service Center Health & Wellness
$42,000
  Youth Engagement Services Education $23,000
  Employment Transition Services Income $70,240
  Housing Counseling and Financial Literacy Income $47,135
Catholic Charities Closing the Gap Education $284,000
Child & Adolescent Treatment Services Child & Adolesc. Treatment Education $82,550
  Independent Living Program Income $36,000
  Clinic Treatment Program Health & Wellness
$133,000
  Intensive Case Management (ICM) Wrap Program Health & Wellness
$29,000
  Lee Gross Anthone Child Advocacy Center Health & Wellness
$55,000
Child & Family Services Haven House Counseling and Advocacy Program Health & Wellness
$49,000
  Preventive Services Health & Wellness $41,000
  Senior Companion Program Health & Wellness $20,000
  Anger Management Program Education $18,000
  Ways to Work Loan Program Income $68,936
  Family Mental Health Education $150,000
  Town of Cheektowaga First Offender Education $10,000
Child Care Resource Network Child Development Associate Education $25,000
Compass House Compass House Emergency Shelter Income $67,000
  Compass House Resource Center Income $47,500
Compeer West of Greater Buffalo Mentoring Education $53,588
  Compeer Partners for Seniors Program Health & Wellness $17,000
Concerned Ecumenical Ministry After School Program Education $30,000
Cradle Beach Camp Project SOAR at School #43 Education $25,000
  Summer Learning Program Education $40,000
EPIC - Every Person Influences Children Just for Teens Education $21,974
  Ready, Set, Parent Education $65,000
Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc. Counsel & Advice Legal Clinic for Victims of Domestic Violence Health & Wellness $10,000
Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc. Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc. "You Are Safe Here" Health & Wellness $125,000

Family Help Center (formerly Joan A. Male FSC)

Closing the Gap

 Education

 $87,000

Core Services

Health & Wellness

$74,500
Goodwill Industries of Western New York Inc. Employment & Training Services Income $76,000
Hearts and Hands Faith in Action Hearts and Hands Faith in Action Health & Wellness $45,000

Hillside Family of Agencies   

Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection 

Education 

$50,000 

Hispanics United of Buffalo, Inc. Domestic Violence Health & Wellness $10,000
HomeFront, Inc. The HomeOwnership Center Income $40,000
International Institute of Buffalo Refugee Employment & Self-Sufficiency Income $40,000

 

Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Victim Services 

Health & Wellness 

$46,000 

Jericho Road Ministries Financially Fit Income $53,340
  Hope Refugee Drop-In Center Income $50,368
  Parent-Child Home Program Education $84,430
  The Priscilla Project  Health & Wellness $30,000
Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo Holland Early Childhood Center Education $29,700
Jewish Family Service of Buffalo & Erie County Project Integration Income $55,232
Kaleida Health Early Childhood Direction Center Education $22,990
King Urban Life Center Inc. Parent-Child Home Program Education $85,000
Life Transitions Center Grief and Loss Project Education $20,000
Literacy Empowerment Action Plan of WNY Academic Support Assistance Program Education $14,000
Literacy Volunteers of America Simply Excellent Students/SES Education $45,000
Lt Col Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY Homeless Services (aka, Team HOPE) Income $44,000
Mental Health Assn. of Erie County B.E.S.T. Education $38,000
Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc. Youth Development Program Education $35,000

Native American Elders Program Health & Wellness $25,000
Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. Domestic Violence Advocacy at Family Justice Center Health & Wellness $58,000
Northwest Buffalo Community Center Academic Improvement Program Education $20,000
Olmsted Center for Sight Senior Vision Services H-Access Health & Wellness $22,000
Read to Succeed Buffalo Project CARE Education $60,600
Rural Transit Service, Inc. Movin Seniors H-Access Health & Wellness $10,000
Schiller Park Community Services Senior Citizen Center Activities Program Health & Wellness $13,000
Suicide Prevention and Crisis Service, Inc. Crisis Services Advocate Program Health & Wellness $33,000
The Salvation Army Emergency Family Assistance Income $62,000
  Emergency Family Shelter Income $52,500
  Employment Services Income $30,000
  Golden Age Center Health & Wellness $23,000
Valley Community Association Keep Moving Program Health & Wellness $20,000
  Striving for Excellence Youth Program Education $65,000
  Tools for Living Program Income $10,000
  Valley Child Care Education $55,158
WNY United Against Drug and Alcohol Abuse Leaders in Training Summer Program Education $20,000
YWCA of WNY Early Childhood Centers Education

$26,510

Educational Cultural Enrichment program targets underachieving students attending Buffalo Public Schools in grades K-12 and provides them with tutorial and cultural educational assistance.  Our unique program combines intense academic support with structured activities i.e. playwriting, acting, dance, African drumming, and other performing arts that gives the participants a wider array of options to learn.  This model of integrating art and cultural programs is based on four premises:

·         Children do well academically when exposed to literate environment

·         Reading, writing and vocabulary building are interrelated processes

·         Basic skills can be taught when children are actively engaged in art/culture rather than isolated practice

·         Math and reasoning skills should be integrated with reading, writing and vocabulary skills

 The program design encompasses research methods that are short-term, intermediate and long term each goal and objective is measured by outcomes and achievement data collected by the project director.  Information and data is reported in registration forms report cards, pre/post test assessments, attendance records and teacher and parent's feedback.

The classes/workshops are delivered by qualified and caring professionals in a safe environment.  We are well known in the Buffalo community for our collaborations with the Buffalo Public Schools, and other community based organizations.  We are now serving 3rd and 4th generations of children and youth.  Many of the youth who have attended our program over the years are now engineers, teachers, correctional officers, nurses, computer programmers and thespians.  Our staff are excellent role models and encourage the youth to graduate from high school and to seek higher education.  Other key features to our program are the African American Cultural Center's Dance/Drum Performing Company and the Paul Robeson Theatre which produces four professional shows during the theatre season.  The participants in the educational programs who increase their grade point average are given the opportunity to participate in these artistic programs.  These programs help develop positive social skills and self esteem in the children/youth.

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The Belle Center is in one of the most distressed neighborhoods in the third poorest city in our nation. It is designated a HOPE VI neighborhood by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Center provides educational, recreational and social services to children and youth ages 0-24 with no break in service. Through age graded programs, we offer READY, STEADY and GO to remove the non academic barriers to our children, provide them with the dream of college or trade and help them map a path to a future as contributing members of society. We use the model of the Harlem Children's Zone as a benchmark, adapting their strategies to the Lower West Side of Buffalo. Beginning at six weeks in our licensed Day Care, moving up to our licensed School Age Child Care, and then to our 21st Century Community Learning Center our children receive evidence based literacy development, homework help and enrichment activities. Our youth have an opportunity to achieve academically. When they are 17, Buffalo AmeriCorps allows them to serve the community and the nation while providing them with Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to use for higher education. Their Buffalo AmeriCorps year is reinforced with the certifications and training of The Portal to prepare them for further education and the world of work. This proposal aligns with United Way's education platform in all three areas to make success a reality. For our students and their families higher education is often a novel idea. We put that idea within reach.
 

 

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Individual Development Account Program - Originally established in 1977 to administer federally-funded Section 8 renter assistance programs, Belmont has grown into a full-service housing development, property management, and housing counseling agency assisting well over 10,000 families annually. We have been providing housing and financial education services for over thirty years and became a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency in 1999. Belmont administers a comprehensive counseling program for Erie County, NY. These services include counseling residents on topics related to purchasing & responsibilities of a home, financial education, fair housing, rental opportunities, foreclosure prevention, HECM, and predatory lending.

Specifically for the United Way, Belmont offers basic and intermediate financial education and administers an Individual Development Account (IDA) matched savings program. This IDA program is the first federally funded IDA program through the Department of Health & Human Services Assets for Independence Act for the residents of Erie County offering savings plans for Homeownership or Small Business Development. The financial education program offers group workshops and one-on-one counseling on a variety of topics. The target population includes EITC eligible families; Female Headed households; Project based and Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) recipients; Unbanked; Persons with Disabilities; and the City of Buffalo. Belmont is requesting $60,000 from the United Way for this project. Over the past three years there have been over 800 graduates of financial education, 188 new savings accounts opened, and participants have saved over $60,000.00 in their savings accounts. 

 

 

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Be-A-Friend Program, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County is seeking $50,000 to implement a Community Based Mentoring Initiative which will target youth who are products of single-parent and/or dysfunctional families, living in high need neighborhoods throughout the City of Buffalo. Through this project, fifty (50) 'at-risk' youth per year will be engaged in a one-to-one, professionally supported mentoring relationships with a carefully screened and trained volunteer mentor. The program will provide youth with a one-to-one mentoring relationship lasting an average of 2+ years, with activities taking place in a range of community settings of interest to both the mentor and the child.

The agency administers a series of surveys to measure the success of its' programming.  Surveys are administrated to mentors, clients, parents/guardians and program staff twice each year. Results from July 2009 indicate the following outcomes were attained among the 615 youth served:

 Demonstrated Pro-Social Behavior:

·  81% of youth served had no serious fights;

·  98% of youth served had no involvement with the Juvenile Justice System;

·  96% of youth served did not use alcohol

·  99% of youth served did not use illegal drugs;

·  100% of youth served had no gang involvement;

Improved Average Daily Attendance in School

·  88% of youth served had no truancies from school;

·  83% of youth served had no school suspensions

 

Be-A-Friend Program, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters of Erie County is seeking $50,000 to implement a Site Based Mentoring - West Side Initiative which will target youth living on the lower West Side of Buffalo. Fifty (50) 'at-risk' youth per year will be engaged in a professionally supervised and supported mentoring relationship.  Site-Based Mentoring is one-to-one mentoring that takes place in a structured setting at a neighborhood community center on a weekly basis.  A Site Coordinator is present at each visit to help these relationships grow through guidance and various planned educational, cultural, community service and recreational activities.

The agency administers a series of surveys to measure the success of its' programming.  Surveys are administrated to mentors, clients, parents/guardians, school staff and program staff twice each year. Results from July 2009 indicated that of 615 youth served:

Demonstrated Pro-Social Behavior:

·  81% of youth served had no serious fights;

·  98% of youth served had no involvement with the Juvenile Justice System;

·  96% of youth served did not use alcohol

·  99% of youth served did not use illegal drugs;

·  100% of youth served had no gang involvement;

Improved Average Daily Attendance in School

·  88% of youth served had no truancies from school;

·  83% of youth served had no school suspension

 

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The purpose of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo's Bridging the Gap program is to help 2,500 youth a year realize productive and positive lives. Bridging the Gap is the educational centerpiece of programs designed to nurture the body, mind and soul of youth of all ages in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo afterschool and summer programs.  The population to be served is among the most at risk in the City of Buffalo for academic failure; alcohol, tobacco and substance abuse; premature sexual experimentation; violence, gang activity and juvenile delinquency.  Clubs staff, working with community based partners and volunteer mentors, will engage youth in educational programs focused on improving their performance in reading, math, and science so that they improve achievement on NYS Learning Standard assessments and graduate high school.  Programs will be offered to stimulate their curiosity in subject areas and careers so that they are motivated to continue in education; stop risky behavior; and righting their character so that they may resist the lure of delinquency and connect with their community thus resulting in a reduction in drop out rates.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo has been successful in past United Way performance measures.  We are anticipating reaching all of our goals for academic performance for youth in the Bridging the Gap program for the 2009-2010 school year.  We targeted 2,500 youth.  Looking at our results after the third marking period in the schools, our results to date are:  69% of participants improved their grade point average, 67% of participants improved their average daily attendance, 78% of participants were ready to work and learn.  We are requesting $253,504 from Untied Way of Buffalo and Erie County to continue this much needed program. 

 

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Project Learn reinforces the academic enrichment and school engagement of young people during the time spent at the Club.  The strategy is based on research demonstrating that students do much better in school when spending their non-school hours engaged in fun, but academically beneficial activities.  Through Project Learn, Boys & Girls Club staff use all areas and programs in the Club to create opportunities for high yield learning activities, including leisure reading, writing activities, discussions with knowledgeable adults, helping others, homework help, tutoring and cognitive skill-building games.  Project Learn emphasizes parent involvement and collaboration between Club and schools as critical factors in creating the best after-school learning environment for Club members.

Our target population are youth, ages 5-18, with a special emphasis on students underachieving at school.  The key program features are the Power Hour program and injecting high yield learning activities in all Club program areas. 

The Clubs are requesting funding in the amount of $72,000 to support Project Learn, a strategy that has proven academic success among children who attend Boys & Girls Clubs and participate in Power Hour and HYLA's compared to non-Club youth:  15% higher overall GPA; 16-20% higher scores in math, history, science and spelling.  Our formalized strategy in 2009 shows that we are on target to meet or exceed all established United Way performance measures.  Our past history of educational programming indicates that Club members are...

·                     Performing higher academically than non Club members

·                     Maintaining/improving grades from one marking period to the next

·                     Advancing to the next grade level

·                     Achieving the merit/honor roll at school.

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The Orchard Park Boys & Girls Club's Project Learn is an education enhancement program designed to help children and youth reach their full learning potential.  Students that receive free or reduced lunches and children that are identified as in need of academic intervention services by the Orchard Park School District will be specifically targeted.   Program features include the traditional BGCA's program and its five key components, with the incorporation of an internet based reading incentive program and weekly trips to the Orchard Park Public Library to select independent reading books, use of Project Learn Triumph Learning's Ladders to Success: NYS English Language Arts & Mathematics assessment preparation materials, homework assistance, tutoring, and high-yield learning activities in order to improve academic performance and graduation rates.    In the recent past, Project Learn has been highly successful.  The Orchard Park Boys & Girls Club saw a 99% increase in the program participants commitment to the Search Institute's forty identified developmental assets that were used by the United Way as an identified measure.  All became more motivated, attentive, and engaged.  The amount of time participants spent doing homework increased, as did their desire to improve or maintain their performance in school.  The Boys & Girls Club of Orchard Park requests $20,000 to help improve this program.

 

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Youth Assessment Development Program (YADP) is a comprehensive educational curriculum comprised of five core programs:  Power Hour, Project Learn, Smart Moves, Torch Club and Keystone Club.  These five programs, developed by Boys & Girls Clubs of America, utilize Best Practices, to assure attainment of program goals. The Strategy emphasizes a sense of belonging, competence, usefulness, and influence.  A recent assessment of this program's impact indicated that, in Buffalo Public Schools in 2008-09, 22% of middle school children failed English Language Arts (ELA). Among participants with similar risk factors in BGCNT's YDAP, only 4% failed ELA.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns' Erie County clubs serve an average of 4,000 youth annually and over 500 youth daily, approximately 65% of which come from economically disadvantaged homes.  The service area includes four public housing facilities; one site is located within a Buffalo Municipal Housing facility. More than 500 are anticipated to participate in YDAP programming in the coming year. BGCNT seeks $120,000 to support the Youth Development Assessment Program.

 

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BFNC Free Tax Preparation Network: The Network provides free tax preparation service for low to moderate income populations which include limited English proficient, persons with disabilities, rural communities, elderly, Native American and other minorities. We operate out of eight different site locations within the various Buffalo communities, including one (1) mobile unit.  We offer both walk in services and scheduled appointment days and hours at sponsored sites.  We operate 16 to 20 hours weekly and require that each of the seven community-based sites open on Saturday.  We train all volunteers each tax season to become IRS certified in order to prepare the current year 's taxes. 

We assist each of the site locations with training, volunteers, equipment received from the IRS, technical support and BFNC staff support in order to confirm that we are in compliance with IRS standards and regulations. The program received two separate audits.  One audit from the SPEC/ IRS and another from the IRS Grant department.  All sites use a Quality Review process to insure a 100% review of all returns.   All volunteer and staff sign a confidentiality agreement to assure that all confidentiality guidelines are followed.  A stipend to the site is paid for each return completed.   The amount of the stipend depends on the number of returns completed by the site.

An IRS site coordinators training is required each year and a "Train the Trainer" tax wise course is required for both the FTPN coordinator and BFNC staff site coordinator/director.  We have been able to accomplish this although the number of sponsored sites decreased from 2008 -2009.  IRS indicates that the 33 IRS VITA sites completed a total of 6,159 returns; our eight (8) sponsored sites completed 8,825.   Based on IRS data our 8 sites did 59% of the total number of returns for all of the Erie County sites.

 

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Moot Senior Center - In 1956 the EC Department of Senior Services designated the NHA Senior Program as the 2nd Nutrition site in the county of Erie.  Persons 55+ were eligible to participate.  In 1979 we opened the Moot Senior Center at Orange and High Street.  We have recruited and maintained a membership of @ 200 seniors annually, and, enjoy the participation of 45-60 seniors in activities Tuesday thru Friday.  In 2008, Moot was awarded recognition as the center that generated the highest increase in EC Nutrition Lunch program participants.   And in 2008 Meals on Wheels awarded Moot for 30 years of uninterrupted volunteer service, the first agency so recognized, for maintaining a 12 person delivery route. We have welcomed the participants of our Day Training Program which serves adults with histories of mental illness, for daily lunches and selected activities.

Seniors who live in Buffalo and regularly participate [3-4 days a week] are predominantly African-American, of low income, dependent upon Social Security and small private pensions, Medicaid and Medicare; they live alone, have some family in town, attend church regularly, are losing their friends, and experience the beginning signs of senility and Alzheimer's disease.  50-60% of Moot seniors are 75 or older.

Historically, Moot Senior Center has met the milestones and performance outcomes for which it has contracted with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.   We request $150,000 to program for 60 seniors four days a week for twelve months.  

 

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Community Health Worker Program (CHWP) - The proposed project will enhance the CHWP ability to provide additional community outreach and recruitment and comprehensive case management services for the target populations residing in the City of Buffalo's high risk zip code areas. This program is aligned with current needs and trends in the Buffalo regional community. Its direction of improving pregnancy outcomes, promoting better maternal and infant/child health care, establishing better linkages between existing programs and ensuring that families have access to a full range of prevention and primary care, human services and educational resources is incomparable to other services offered in Buffalo. The United Way currently funds CHWP staff and is in its first year of its contract (2009-2010).  The CHWP continues to address healthcare needs; to date over 160 women have been recruited and enrolled. Approximately 40 more participants will be enrolled by the end of PY.  Data available for 129 participants: to date 100 % of pregnant women enrolled initiated prenatal care in their first trimester; 98% of pregnant and parenting women  established medical home; 9% of the infant and children established a medical home; 90% of infant and children are maintained WBV/ physicals: 90% of the infant and children obtain education on dental care and assisted with establishing dental home;  100% of participants where provided (when needed) transportation to medical/ social services appointments; 90% of the infants and children where assisted in enrolling in WIC; 96% of the referrals made where accomplished.  Project's Funding request is $64,802 per year. 

 

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Senior Multi-Service Center is designed to ensure low income seniors are able to live actively and productively in the community and do not enter nursing homes prematurely. The services include: Congregate dining- daily nutritious breakfast, lunch, snacks and take home dinners; Transportation to and from program services, medical and business appointments, shopping and field trips;  Food Pantry provides bi-weekly food packages to cover 4-days of nutrition; Telephone Assurance Program( TAP)  regular telephone contact with Seniors who are homebound  and/or who do not come to the Center to ensure their safety and well being; Forms Completion Assistance which gives individual assistance to seniors in completing applications for resources they are eligible to receive; Health related workshops and seminars to provide up to date information and access to services;  Health & Wellness Screenings and Socialization through a host of activities aimed at positive socialization and fun such as: current events discussions,  arts & crafts, choir, plays, games, movies, and  field trips.  There is no fee to participate in the program though there is a suggested donation based on income for the congregate dining program. The program is unique in that it welcomes seniors age 55 and up from throughout Erie County. The primary participants are 85 % African American living in the Ellicott District, 50 % of which are receiving less than $5000 per month in income and have not completed grade school. The services provide each senior with personalized assistance in accessing and maintaining the benefits to which they are entitled and the skills to make healthy lifestyle choices. The program serves 100 seniors annually. Over 60% of the participants received transportation; congregate dining; supplemental food assistance and learned to maintain healthy behaviors. The program funding requested is $78,750.00.

 

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Youth Engagement Services program equips and empowers low income, at risk youth ages 14 -21 to become self-sufficient by addressing educational, economic, family and social challenges faced by the youth and their families. The program is designed to achieve improved overall academic, personal and social development; increased high school graduation rates and facilitate transition into post-secondary education, training or the workforce for the youth. The services provided include: Educational Support, Life Skills Support and Career Development. Youth who participate in the program are supported by mentors. The program provides service on average to 75 youth during the school year and 130 during the summer earn and learn component. Each youth has an individualized service plan that coordinates the various services required to overcome the issues facing the student. The program operates year round with a Summer Earn and Learn program component designed to provide continued academic enrichment and the opportunity for the youth to gain valuable work experience and earn money through working and learning during the summer months.

Over the last three years, the program has achieved the following outcomes: 93.6% of youth were promoted to the next grade level; 100% remained in school and improved attendance; 89.6%  of the high school seniors applied to college and 81.3% enrolled into college; 100% of the seniors graduated from high school or achieved their GED.

The program draws students through our partnerships with the Buffalo Public School System; Erie County Department of Social Services, Family Court, juvenile justice and other community and faith based organizations. Referrals also come from Urban League programming areas. This collaboration between programs allows for a comprehensive, culturally sensitive response to the issues facing families that goes beyond simply addressing the presenting problem. The requested funding is $46,006.00.

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Employment Transition Services -  Program that responds to the employment needs of individuals who are unemployed, under-employed, or dislocated workers. Our services target individuals who experience the highest rates of unemployment, 30% and above: and are not included in the official counts of the unemployed because they are individuals who given up looking for work, "discouraged workers".  They include: youth, ex-offender, minorities, specifically, African Americans, and individuals transitioning from public assistance.  

Case management, training and job search services provide the support and skill building required to enable the individual to achieve and retain employment as well as gain career advancement. Individuals participating in the program become job seekers armed with marketable skills and an action plan to enable them to obtain and retain employment. The program staff provides the client with intensive support and coaching and assistance to reduce barriers to the job search and post employment support to ensure job retention. Employment will enable individuals to become economically self-sufficient and productive members of the community, thereby improving their quality of life and contributing to the economy.

To ensure coordination and linkages which maximize employment opportunities, our staff is co-located two days per week at the Buffalo Employment and Training Center. This allows a seamless integration of our clients into the community's One Stop services as a component of our case management and job placement services. The overall program has successfully assisted over 375 clients obtain employment annually. The program is requesting funding of $72,168.00.

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Housing Counseling and Financial Literacy serves residents primarily in Erie County. We provide counseling and educational services targeted to  low-to-moderate income households, minorities, elderly, and persons with disabilities which include: Homebuyers Counseling; Mortgage Default and Delinquency Counseling; Tenant Counseling; Homeless Counseling;  Housing Consumer Education; Financial Literacy Education; Predatory Lending and Rental Education; and Fair Housing Education. We take a holistic comprehensive customer centered approach to serving our clients, by offering individual and families our internal resources and linkages with organizations providing social and economic resources. These numerous community collaborations allow us to be a continuing resource for residents' increasing self-sufficiency and economic empowerment.  Buffalo Urban League's program has assisted more than 1300 first-time home buyers, tenants, and homeowners resolved their housing problems during the previous program year. In addition we assisted 900 individuals to overcome barriers presented by deficient credit worth, improve money management skills, and provide services for those faced being homeless or living in unsuitable housing. We are requesting $49,270.00.

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Closing the Gap is a school community partnership that integrates health and human services into the school to address the non-academic barriers of children and their families so learning can be enhanced. This affords families better access to coordinated services that are comprehensive, family centered and family driven which will improve their quality of life and their child's academic success.

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Child & Adolescent Treatment Services promotes the emotional well being of children & families by providing professional counseling and treatment services in child friendly environments. The mission of the CATS' 21st  CCLC program is to enhance Students' academic and social emotional development and to foster lifelong interests in the arts, recreation, and other areas by providing high quality out-of school opportunities that keep children safe and help them achieve. CATS 21st CCLC offer Students from Buffalo Public Schools 18,66,74,93 and East High School and their families, an opportunity to participate in a proven program designed to promote academic achievement and positive youth development.  The project has three overall goals.  The first will be to enhance the academic achievement of students participating in the project.   The second is increasing their ability to make pro-social choices in their behavior in home, school and community by offering researched based programs such as Second Step and CBITS combined with the PBIS the behavioral frameworks used by the Buffalo Public School District.  The third goal concentrates on increasing the involvement of family in children's academic, community and life development by providing specific supports for the adults such as incredible years, powerful families, family support, family recreation and counseling services.     

In the 2008- 2009 CATS 21st CCLCs combined to served 970 students and their families as well as met all seven of their internal objectives which include the following United Way indicators % of youth who improve in NYS and school assessments, the % of youth who increase knowledge and demonstration of pro-social skills and the % of youth who decrease school suspensions and/or office discipline referrals.   Approximately 82% of program regulars maintained or increased their math and ELA scores from 10 to 40 weeks. In 2006-2007 42%of program regulars increased a level in NYS Math Assessments compared to 24% of non participants and 39% of program regulars increased in NYS ELA Assessments compared to 36% of non participants.    Over the past four years CATS' has averaged 81%  of the students indicate an increase between the pre and post assessment for Second Step, a research-based approach to strengthening empathy, impulse control, and other important social skills in the classroom.  Because CATS views the Child's social and emotional development as important as the physical and academic development in creating a solid platform which healthy functioning in home, school and community rests.   We are respectfully requesting $190,000 to fund the socio-emotional track of their 21st Community Learning Center Program.

 

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Independent Living Program of Child & Adolescent Treatment Services (hereafter referred to as CATS ILP) has a documented successful history serving the economic self-sufficiency needs of low to moderate income youth from the Erie County Foster Care System.  For the Contract Year 2010, CATS ILP was awarded the highly competitive RFP from the Erie County Department of Social Service to be the sole provider of case management services to low to moderate income youth ages 14-21 in high need of economic self-sufficiency as they leave the Erie County Foster Care System. 

CATS ILP achieves high-level evidence-based outcomes in the following areas:  educational/vocational programming, obtaining & maintaining employment, obtaining appropriate other income supports, financial education training programming aligned with all standards defined by the CASH Coalition, obtaining appropriate housing, obtaining medical/health care, linkages to community supports.  The at-risk youth served in our program go on to become economically self-sufficient and contributing tax payers in our community.  A review of past CATS ILP program data demonstrates the following program outcomes: 85% obtain and maintain employment, 95% possess other income supports, 95% possess contact information for all needed medical services, 95% possess all their personal/medical records, 95% have a permanent connection to a caring adult, 95% are linked to appropriate community supports as needed to live self-sufficiently, 99% obtained and maintained appropriate housing.

Each dollar received from UWBEC leverages five dollars from Erie County Department of Social Services.  CATS ILP has a long documented performance history of either meeting or exceeding past United Way measures.  Our most recent United Way Mid-Year Report under the Income Platform demonstrates our success rate in our three outcome measures of 93%, 93% and 100% respectively.  The CATS ILP is requesting funding in the amount of $40,681.

 

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Clinic Treatment Program views a child's emotional development as important as physical health in creating a solid platform which healthy functioning in home, school and community rests.

CATS' specially trained mental health therapists provide effective, culturally relevant services that decrease symptoms, promote effective parenting and family communication, teach healthy feeling management skills and promote academic achievement.  Services include: comprehensive assessment; individual, family and group treatment; specialized treatment for sexual victimization; teen suicide prevention treatment; psychiatric consultation; medication prescription and monitoring; and psychological consultation.

Because strong families are the cornerstone of safe communities, as well as healthy child development, services emphasize developing the strength of the family.

CATS serves children and adolescents with emotional problems ages 3-18 and their families in Erie County.  CATS is  a Clinic-Plus agency which provides:  screening in school and in community locations with parental consent, a free and confidential service to check a child's emotional development, and  assessment to identify needs and strengths of the child.

CATS delivers the following evidence based programs:  Dialectical Behavior Therapy for Adolescents (DBT), Functional Family Therapy (FFT) and Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).  DBT serves adolescents ages 12-18 who struggle with suicidal and/or self-harming thoughts and/or behavior.  FFT is a family focused treatment for youth ages 12-17 who are involved with the Juvenile Justice System.  FFT is effective in preventing out of home placements for youth as well as further involvement in the Juvenile Justice System.  PCIT treats young children ages 3-7 with disruptive behavior disorders and their parents.  Parents are taught skills for strengthening the parent-child relationship, while increasing their child's positive behaviors and decreasing negative behaviors.

Clinic treatment has been successful in maintaining children in the community and increasing children's functioning in home, school and community.

We are requesting $168,000 for clinic treatment.

 

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Intensive Case Management (ICM) Wrap Program utilizes a nationally recognized, evidence-based model that works with Seriously Emotionally Disturbed youth ages 5-18 and their families throughout Erie County.  These youth have not been successful in traditional treatment settings and are at risk for out of home placement.  The Wrap philosophy employs a process that works to maintain the youth in their community based family setting instead of being placed outside the home, whether as a hospitalization or residential placement.  In 2009, 97% of the youth we worked with were successfully maintained in their home setting and did not need an out of home placement.  Wrap promotes the overall health and wellness of the identified youth, and also improves the lives and the functionality of the entire family in all aspect of their lives.

Through the process of engaging with the entire family, a family vision is created to improve functioning in all aspects identified in their Plan of Care, or treatment plan.  Service needs focus on utilizing natural and community supports.  However, paid service providers may also be used and accessed through the Vendor Service network to further assist families.  Monthly Child & Family team (CFT) meetings are held at the family's request to increase the collaborative efforts of all team members in supporting the family in meeting their goals and vision.  Skills acquisition for parents and youth are crucial to incorporate in order to improve functioning in the home, school and community.  Ultimately, the goal is to empower and educate the youth and their family about resources available in their community that can assist them to manage their family needs without having to rely on paid professionals.   

We are requesting $38,750 for the ICM Wrap Program.

 

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Lee Gross Anthone Child Advocacy Center, (CAC), is a program of Child & Adolescent Treatment Services.  Our target population is children who are alleged victims of sexual and severe physical abuse who reside in Erie County.  At the CAC representatives from child protection, law enforcement, and prosecution convene to conduct joint investigative interviews which eliminates the need for the child to continuously recount his/her experience.  We have an on-site forensic medical clinic staffed by a highly trained, experienced team of pediatricians and nurses from Kaleida Health, which administers forensically competent medical examinations.  Our medical Team works with law enforcement to share findings and provide expert consultation.  We have on-site trauma focused individual and group counseling; currently, we are the only provider in Erie County to provide group treatment for abused children. We have an on-site New York State Police Investigator who conducts forensic interviews and provides technical assistance to local law enforcement, resulting in improved investigations.  Our Case Coordinators work with the entire Team to provide the best care to children and families served.  The close coordination of services in our child friendly environment reduces trauma, facilitates thorough investigations and leads to improved prosecution of offenders. In our most recent mid-year United Way performance report, for our three performance measures, we were at 89%, (# and % of clients with a completed safety plan), 71% (# and percentage of clients receiving expert forensic medical examinations) and 100 %( # and percentage of children who accessed resources) respectively.  We are requesting $100,000 in order to ensure adequate resources to continue the critical work on behalf of abused children in Erie County.

 

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Haven House Counseling and Advocacy Program is a program of Child & Family Services; the program is requesting $49,000 annually from the United Way for 2011-13.   Since 1979, Haven House has provided a broad range of residential and community-based services designed to empower victims of domestic violence and support them in seeking safety, self-determination and justice.  Haven House provides victims with the resources needed to rebuild their lives by offering a 24 hour hotline, residential (shelter) and non-residential services.  The non-residential services are referred to as the Counseling and Advocacy Program (CAP).  CAP helps families victimized by domestic violence become safer through confidential counseling, support groups, and legal advocacy in locations throughout Erie County, including police departments and courts.   The program works with victims to identify risks of further domestic abuse, identify protective interventions that are available, understand their rights as victims, develop a safety plan to escape from the abuse, and provides support to victims as they take the multiple steps necessary to reduce the violence in their lives and/or escape from their violent partner.  In 2009, Haven House helped 2,171 victims implement a safety plan; of those individuals, 1,806 were receiving legal advocacy services from Haven House and 247 were receiving counseling.  Of the 247 victims receiving counseling services, 191 (or 77%) reported a decrease in their exposure to abuse. 

 

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Preventive Services Program is requesting $41,000 to continue serving vulnerable families in Erie County to assist children at risk of placement out of the home and families needing assistance expediting the safe return of children who have been placed.  Each staff member has an average of fifteen years of experience working with families and children at risk and specialized training working with the needs of this population.  All services provided by program staff incorporate a strength-based, solution focused approach within the framework of a trauma informed perspective.  Services are home based and include individual and family counseling, case management services, and advocacy.  The expected outcome is that children will remain in their homes and be safe from abuse or neglect.  The Preventive Services Program has successfully met the performance measures of ensuring that families complete an effective safety plan, that parents positively modify their behavior toward their children, and that children remain safe at home or able to return to home safe from abuse.

 

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Senior Companion Program was established in 1974 to provide opportunities for older adults with limited incomes to serve their communities during their retirement years.  The Program brings together volunteers age 55 and over with other senior adults in their community who have difficulty navigating simple tasks of day-to-day living.  With the assistance of the Senior Companion Volunteers, many frail adults and persons with disabilities can live independently in their own homes or communities.  Some of the job responsibilities include: offering companionship and friendship to isolated and frail adults, assisting with simple chores; providing transportation, offer respite services to caregivers and add richness to their clients' lives.  The program currently has 11 Community Stations throughout the City of Buffalo and Erie County.  The SCP is responsible for training and guiding 79 senior volunteers, working with 83 fail elderly in their homes or Senior Community Centers.

Past performance measurements for the SCP includes the number of clients indicating that they feel less lonely as a result of the program, number of clients indicating that they kept scheduled appointments as a result of the program and the number of caregivers reporting they felt less stress as a result of the SCP.  Based on our evaluation surveys, 99.7% of the clients served indicated that their needs were met. 

The SCP funding request from United Way is $53,865.00.  The funds will allow the program to enhance its services by hiring a part-time health/nutrition staff person to train our volunteers, who will in turn, will provide preventive health education for their clients.

 

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Anger Management Program services youth ages 10-20 who reside in Erie County. Youth come to the program struggling with the ability to control their anger.  Many times, these youth are involved in the juvenile justice system resulting from criminal acts such as assault, trespassing, harassment and destruction of property.  The only program of its kind in Erie County, it provides short-term individual anger management therapy to youth referred through the Erie County Probation Department, school districts, and other agencies. 

The program provides youth struggling with anger management an opportunity to gain insight into their difficulties while learning skills to appropriately manage their anger. The program encourages youth who participate to accept responsibility for their actions in order to avoid harmful behaviors in the future. Addressing these issues can help students improve their school performance to achieve school success. 

The program has received United Way Funding in the past, and has consistently achieved its performance targets. According to READY Tool data from 2008, 100% of youth felt that the Anger Management Program helped them to make better decisions.  In addition, following completion of the program, 100% of youth felt that they could almost always or sometimes keep their anger under control in the school environment. The program aims to service 100 youth per year and consistently meets this target. In 2008, the program serviced 109 and in 2009 the program serviced 107 youth. The Anger Management Program has proven to reduce recidivism over the past five years, as well as a decrease in out- of home delinquency placements.  Recidivism data shows that in both 2007 and 2008, over 80% of youth had not had further arrests or involvement in the juvenile justice system or residential placement.

 

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Ways To Work Loan Program provides loans to Erie County families whose incomes are less than 80% of the median income level and who are not eligible for conventional credit at local banks or credit unions. Loans up to $6,000 are provided for purposes of purchasing or repairing vehicles, security deposits, rent/mortgage arrears, child care, necessary appliances, medical needs and/or business equipment. The loans are designed to eliminate barriers that otherwise pose a risk to applicants' maintaining employment and/or completing college. The loans are an affordable alternative to predatory lending and meet the need for innovative banking/lending products.

Prior to loan application, two hour financial education sessions are provided to assist applicants with the preparation of household spending budgets and to help them consider opportunities for increasing their disposable income and establish positive credit histories. One-on-one intake/credit counseling sessions help applicants to complete their loan applications and write five year action plans designed to address their goals and develop positive credit histories.

In partnership with community agencies and faith based organizations, free financial literacy workshops are provided throughout the county to help low-to-moderate working families reach their goals towards financial stability.

Since 1999, the program has provided $2.5M in loans and maintained a 90% repayment rate. Loan recipients have demonstrated significant improvement in their credit scores during and beyond their two year loan re-payment terms.  It should also be noted that this site has been awarded performance awards by the national Ways To Work program (Ways To Work, Inc.) in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009.  Ways To Work, Inc. provides the funds for issuing loans and provides training and oversight to more than 24 sites nationally.

Child & Family Services requests $82,871 to provide 80 loans, 24 orientation sessions and financial literacy workshops to more than 800 Erie County residents each year.  

 

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Family Mental Health Program through Child and Family Services provides mental health outpatient treatment.  The clinics provide individual, family and group counseling beginning at age three years old through adulthood.   The clinics are staffed with clinicians trained in adult mental health treatment and child mental health treatment.  The clinicians have been trained in evidence based practices proven to be effective in promoting recovery from trauma, severe emotional disturbance and behavioral issues.  The medical staff includes Psychiatrists, Nurse Practitioner and Registered Nurse to manage the medication therapy.   Adult services are provided at the clinic sites and include: psychiatric evaluation, medication therapy, and psycho-therapy.  Children services are provided at clinic sites and in the home. Clinical interventions include individual and family therapy teaching behavioral modification skills, parenting skills and social skills to improve the child's functioning at home and in school.  Less than 1% of the children receiving our clinic services dropped out of school.  Children/families with more severe needs are assisted with linkages such as in home counseling and wrap around services for added support.

In 2009 the clinics provided services to 358 adults and 582 children from age 3 - 19 years either at our sites or in the home.  As a Clinic Plus program 475 free mental health screens were conducted in the schools and community for early identification and intervention for mental health needs

The Family Mental Health Program is requesting $350.000.00 to support the continuation of counseling services to children, adults and families in Erie County.

 

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Town of Cheektowaga First Offender and Troubled Youth Counseling Program is primarily a family therapy program. Often youthful offenses are a sign of significant personal or family problems. We strongly believe that youth who are having trouble at home, in school, or in the community need the support of their families in order to make changes.  The program works with youth (ages 7-20) who may be following a path into social and criminal disruption to find their way back to lives of meaning and productivity.  It works to increase school attendance and help youth develop personal and social qualities essential for success.

Through the use of Intensive Family Therapy the program focuses on improving the relationships and communication among family members. Intensive Family Therapy uses the family's central role in a youth's life to help them work through and move past difficulties to a successful future.  The program services those who reside in the Town of Cheektowaga who are struggling with acting out behaviors

The program has received United Way Funding in the past, and has consistently achieved its performance targets.  In both 2008 and 2009, the program serviced the targeted number of 150 youth.  In addition, 2009 Recidivism data shows that  97% of youth surveyed had not had further involvement in the juvenile justice system nor been referred to residential placement.  In 2008, 92% of youth had not had further arrests.

The program is requesting $10,000 for the 2011-2013 funding cycle.

 

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Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is a nationally recognized performance-based program for early care and education professionals.  The purpose is to enhance the quality of child care by defining, evaluating and recognizing the competence of child care providers.  The credential is awarded to child care providers who have demonstrated their skill in working with young children and their families by successfully completing the CDA process.

The 12 month program offers CDA candidates a comprehensive approach to successfully completing the credential.  Seminar instruction, advisement and field observations are provided to support each candidate.  Classes run cyclically, with two classes offered each year.  An online CDA option is being offered this year in a hybrid model that provides face to face seminar in combination with online coursework.

Over the past three years sixty candidates successfully completed our program and received the CDA credential.  This past year twenty-three candidates received their credential. Using the nationally recognized Harms & Clifford Environmental rating scales1 which assesses program quality using a calibrated scale, the CCRN follows program quality throughout the credentialing process.  The assessment tools used to document program changes are appropriate for the candidates' program modality.  The "ITERS" is used for infant and toddler programs, the "ECERS" for preschool classrooms and the "FDCERS: for family child care.   $32,000 

 

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Compass House Emergency Shelter is a 13-bed crisis shelter for runaway and homeless youth (RHY) between the ages of 12-17.  Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, youth are provided immediate access to a full range of crisis assistance services including: shelter; food; clothing; access to basic needs, individualized assessment; crisis, individual, group and family counseling; case management; linkage and referral services; age appropriate recreational activities; independent living skills instruction and aftercare. In addition, we operate a 24-hour help-line to provide crisis counseling, information and referrals.  We are part of the national Safe Place program that provides access to services throughout Erie County through collaborations with community agencies, businesses and volunteers to provide youth with transportation to the shelter. All of our services are voluntary and free.  Compass House has consistently met all United Way performance measures with more than 95% of the youth in the shelter leaving, for safe and stable housing.

 

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Compass House Resource Center is a non-residential case management program for youth ages of 14 - 24.  The Resource Center opened in 1986 to address the long-term needs and support that homeless youth, or youth at-risk of homeless, need to maintain stability in the community.  Open Monday - Thursday from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm, Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm, youth access the Resource Center to meet with Case Managers, attend crisis, individual, group and family counseling sessions, and participate in groups focused on self-sufficiency skills (following the NYS OCFS Independent Living Skills Curriculum), as well as coping and other life-skills areas.  Through the Resource Center, clients are offered healthy meals, housing support, referral and linkage services, emergency food, clothing, household goods and furniture, and appropriate recreational activities.  All services are voluntary and free.  Compass House's efficacy is demonstrated through the consistent achievement of all United Way Outcome Measures, with more than 90% of the youth served leaving service into stable living situations.  While initially designed to provide case management services for the span of one year, most youth remain with the agency for well over a year. 

 

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Kids High Needs Mentoring Program - With this funding we will target forty at-risk and high-needs children and youth who are considered hard-to-serve with multiple risk factors that often include a history of abuse, neglect, or homelessness.  Youth will be between the ages of four and seventeen, and live in the following zip codes in the City of Buffalo: 14201, 14211, 14213, 14207, 14212, and 14215.  These zip codes have been deemed high-need, high-risk neighborhoods by the New York State Department of Health.

 The Compeer for Kids High-Needs Mentoring Program has three primary goals:

·                                                                                             Improve academic performance

·                                                                                             Open opportunities for activities outside the home

·                                                                                             Keep youth physically and emotionally safe at home

Historically nearly 95% of Compeer youth are able to achieve these goals.

Compeer will utilize support from the United Way to recruit, train, and match adult volunteer mentors from the community who will model positive, responsible behavior for the targeted youth.  Compeer mentors will devote between two and four hours a week for a minimum of one year.

The Compeer program is based on nationally recognized best practices and evidence-based policies and procedures. Compeer's mentoring program creates strength-based, structured, and trusting one-to-one relationships between caring adults and at-risk youth for support, encouragement, and friendship.  A mentor is not a parent, therapist, guidance counselor, or parole officer.  Mentoring has proven to be a powerful tool to help at-risk youth achieve their true potential.

Compeer of Greater Buffalo seeks $20,000 from the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County to continue the successful United Way funded Compeer Lackawanna Youth Mentoring Program that targets at-risk youth living in Lackawanna, NY.  With this funding we will target twenty children and youth who are considered hard-to-serve with multiple risk factors that often include a history of abuse, neglect, or homelessness.

The Compeer Lackawanna Youth Mentoring Program has three primary goals:

·                                                                                             Improve academic performance

·                                                                                             Open opportunities for activities outside the home

·                                                                                             Keep youth physically and emotionally safe at home

Historically nearly 95% of Compeer youth are able to achieve these goals.

Compeer will utilize support from the United Way to recruit, train, and match adult volunteer mentors from the community who will model positive, responsible behavior for the targeted youth.  Compeer mentors will devote between two and four hours a week for a minimum of one year.

The Compeer program is based on nationally recognized best practices and evidence-based policies and procedures. Compeer's mentoring program creates strength-based, structured, and trusting one-to-one relationships between caring adults and at-risk youth for support, encouragement, and friendship.  A mentor is not a parent, therapist, guidance counselor, or parole officer.  Mentoring has proven to be a powerful tool to help at-risk youth achieve their true potential.

 

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Compeer Partners for Seniors Program (CPSP).  With this funding we will target 25 older adults who are at-risk for premature hospitalization or other institutional care. These targeted seniors will be identified as socially isolated, without families or social networks of friends. Most of the seniors who are identified for this program are on public assistance and have difficulty accessing "mainstream" daily activities to live independently in the community.

Compeer recruits, screens, trains, matches, and monitors volunteers who are interested in actively helping seniors by providing emotional support through friendship. Through these supportive one-to-one matches, opportunities are created for personalized instruction and the modeling of healthy choices. The matched consumers participate in various community activities as well as Compeer sponsored monthly group activities in order to provide a circle of friendship and support.  The Compeer activities and projects are designed to strengthen or rekindle unique talents and skills leading to healthier lifestyles.  Additionally, Compeer provides volunteers with ongoing staff support and training in developing strength based relationships.

The Compeer Partners for Seniors Program demonstrated the following success in 2009 for the identified United Way performance measures that are relevant to this funding request.

·                     17 of 20 and 88% of clients with improved participation in civic, cultural, religious and recreation activities.

·                     19 of 20 and 98% of volunteers reporting they feel they improved the lives of the people they served.

·                     19 of 20 and 95% of clients reporting they always or usually get the social and emotional support they need.

 

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After School and Summer Enrichment Program offers 150 students in grades Kindergarten through eight academic assistance, snacks, and enrichment activities in a safe, nurturing environment during non-school hours. The program is operates Monday through Friday from 2:30 - 5:30 during the school year and in coordination with the summer school schedule during July and August. Most students in the program attend School #45 and live on Buffalo's west side and are from low-income families. Half or more of the students are from refugee families and speak English as their second language. In addition, the program is expanding to include targeted ninth and tenth graders as youth leaders and mentors for the younger children. CEM has been offering enrichment and academic programs for this target group for more than ten years. Results of the program over the past five years include improved performance on NYS Assessments in ELA and Math, improved social skills and a high percentage of promotion to the next grade. CEM is requesting $65,502 from the United Way to support this program.

 

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Project SOAR (Success-Opportunities-Achievement-Responsibility) -  The program, planned to be a multi-year initiative beginning with children in grade three and expanding as the children move up each year, is a school/community collaboration with Buffalo Public School # 43, a Closing the Gap school that integrates health, human and social services to enhance conditions for learning and establish the foundation for success at an early age that will lead to improved academic achievement and eventually, and ultimately, high school graduation for participating youth.  The program, which will offer in-class support throughout the school year, seven monthly retreats from October through May, and a 10-day summer camp experience in either July or August, is designed to remove as many barriers as possible from the disadvantaged child's life that interfere with academic achievement. Education platform performance measures to be tracked include:

·                     # and % of children promoted to the next grade level

·                     # and % of children who improve in NYS assessments

·                     # and % of children who improve in school assessments

·                     # and % of children who increase knowledge of pro-social skills

·                     # and % of children who demonstrate pro-social behavior

Project SOAR is currently ending its first year, serving students in Grade 3. Services will continue for these children in the 2010-2011 school year as they move to Grade 4, and a new group of Grade 3 students will be added. The goal is to follow these children through Grade 8 to track the impact Project SOAR will have on student achievement, grade promotion and eventually, graduation rates.

 

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The Summer Learning Program at Cradle Beach is an evidence-based program aligned with research done at Johns Hopkins University which shows that children from disadvantaged backgrounds stay on track at school when they participate in summer enrichment programs. The 10-day residential camping experience builds 19 of the 40 Developmental Assets identified by the Search Institute as essential to growth into responsible adulthood and linked with pro-social skills. Residential summer learning at Cradle Beach combines academic and recreational enrichment. Children participate in ELA and math tutoring as well as recreational programming. Summer enrichment programs keep students engaged in learning, teach new skills and encourage children to develop previously unseen talents. Further, Cradle Beach's summer learning program is aligned with current research on emotional intelligence, which demonstrates a positive correlation between participation of disadvantaged children with those who have disabilities, and increased academic achievement.

Cradle Beach serves an average of 850 youth annually between the ages of 8-16 with nearly 73% of campers at or below poverty level. Almost 80% of all campers come from zip codes within the city of Buffalo. Cradle Beach seeks $110,127 from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County to enable children from severely economically disadvantaged backgrounds to attend the Summer Learning Program.

 

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Just for Teens is an evidence based program designed and implemented by EPIC - Every Person Influences Childrenfocused on increasing high school graduation and increasing school readiness of children born to adolescent parents. The program serves between 175 and 225 pregnant and parenting teens each year within 8 Buffalo Public Schools. Once a week, during the standard scheduled lunch period at each school, identified teens attend a 30-60 minute small group interactive workshop in a private room led by a professional EPIC facilitator while a free nutritious lunch is provided.

The program provides 24 sessions specifically targeting issues facing pregnant and parenting focused in four topic areas consisting of 6 sessions each: Fundamental Parenting Skills, Bonding with Your Child, Relationships, and Personal Well-Being. In addition, EPIC works with a number of other community agencies to assist in the facilitation of topics and to provide additional resources and referral options.

Just for Teens has a well documented history of providing positive outcomes for both the teen participants andtheir children. For the teen parents:, participants in the program yield a high school graduation rate of 98.1% since its inception in 2001, more than double the national graduation rate of 41% of pregnant and parenting teens. The children of participants also receive tremendous benefit by increasing the knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy of teen parents to increase the school readiness of their children. EPIC is seeking $44,478 to support the program to supplement New York State Budget cuts to the Safe and Drug Free Schools program offered through Extended Day.

 

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Ready, Set, Parent! is a research-based parenting and newborn health education program operating in all four birthing hospitals in Erie County reaching more than 7,000 parents annually. The program is designed and implemented by EPIC - Every Person Influences Children in collaboration with Baker Victory Services (BVS) to address critical academic and health variables for children. The program is open to every new mother giving birth in Erie County with a programmatic focus on high-need, at-risk children from communities to improve newborn health, increase the percentage of children that enter school ready to learn, increase early literacy, advance social- emotional development and prevent child abuse or neglect for all families in Erie County. The delivery model consists of three components: (1) an EPIC trained Parent Educator reaching parents within their hospital room within 48 hours of giving birth;  (2) a one-hour newborn class occurring on each hospital maternity floor; and (3) an in-depth eight-weekReady, Set, Parent! Workshop series occurring within the community about parenting infants and toddlers (birth to age three). that includes two "Dr. Talks", where parents can ask specific questions and get detailed answers from a local pediatric professional.

 

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Counsel & Advice Legal Clinic for Victims of Domestic Violence, but actually provides full legal representation for many of the clients.  It will be located at a confidential site that is convenient for clients of Haven House.  We will rely heavily on trained volunteer attorneys who will provide a total of over $19,000 in volunteer time.   

When we include successful counsel and advice provided, our % of successful legal outcomes is 99% over the past three years.  We believe this an appropriate inclusion, since many times the clients only need to receive counsel and advice so that they better understand their rights and options.

 

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FAMILY JUSTICE CENTER OF ERIE COUNTY, INC. provides one-stop wrap around services for victims of domestic violence [DV] or intimate partner violence [IPV] and their children. Since opening in March 2006 the FJC has served 4003 clients as of 12/31/2009.

2009 Demographics

GENDER:     Female 89%     Male 11%

ETHNICITY: White 37%;    Black 43%;    Hispanic 11%;    Other 9%

AGE: <=17 yrs 2%;    18-24 yrs 22%;    25-40 years 46%;    41-59 yrs 25%;    >=60+ yrs 2%; Not Indicated 3%

EDUCATION: 8th grade or less 3%;    Some high school 17%;    High school/GED 38%;    Some college 13%;

                         College graduate 16%;    Post-graduate education or degree 4%;    No indication 9%

PRIMARY LANGUAGE:    English 94%;   Spanish 3%;   Other 3%

HOUSEHOLD INCOME:    <=$8000 58%;    8001-$24,000 26%;     $24,0001-$40,000 10%;    >=$40,001 6%

Key Program Features

Services are FREE to clients. The collaboration between the FJC and its 12 onsite partnersΠprovides wrap around services for victims of DV and IPV. Collaborations are articulated in MOU's and service agreements.

NOTE: Office space, equipment, supplies, program management, coordination, recruitment, training, Intake & Assessment, tracking referrals/services, and program administrative are provided @ no cost to partners. The FJC secured grant funding for forensic medical and child advocacy services in order for expert forensic medical documentation, and, assessment and referral for child witnesses of DV and IPV would be available ONSITE for clients and their families.

Performance Measures

JAN 1, 2007 through DEC 31, 2009

SERVICE AREA REFERRALs


A  Advocacy

Counseling

Law Enforcement

Civil Legal

Forensic Medical Unit

2007

86%

51%

49%

36%

15%

2008

85%

51%

38%

41%

14%

2009

96%

66%

48%

50%

14%










Pr         Prosecution

     Translation

                    Shelter/Emergency Housing

H           Housing/Post Shelter

Children

2007

62 %

5%

33%

3%

NA

2008

56%

10%

47%

3%

3%

2009

53%

11%

45%

3%

13%

Funding Amount Requested: $150,000

 

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Job Training and Employment Programs as well as wrap-around services for adults with all types and combinations of disabilities or disadvantaging conditions, enabling our clients to obtain and maintain employment and live as comfortably as possible.

We work with four specific populations: persons with physical and mental disabilities; Public Assistance recipients; Veterans, and former alcohol/substance abusers.  Ninety-five percent of clients reside within the City of Buffalo. 

Every client undergoes a preliminary Evaluation to determine vocational strengths, deficits, job interests and abilities. These findings guide the development of an Individual Plan for Employment and the client's choice of one of six Goodwill Training programs: retail, industrial operations, warehouse operations, e-commerce, computer training or environmental services. Training lasts approximately three months.

Toward the end of training, the client begins working with a Goodwill job developer, who contacts Employers on the client's behalf, assists in preparing resumes and filling out applications, and provides transportation to job interviews.  Once a client secures employment, we maintain communication in order to resolve any issues that may arise, helping ensure job retention.

We provide case management to each client with linkage to needed non-vocational services, as well as vouchers to Goodwill stores for interview and/or work clothing, monthly access to our onsite food pantry, in-house GED classes, and temporary emergency babysitting services for clients whose childcare has fallen through, so they may participate in program activities.

Our $76,000 request covers a portion of the salary and benefits of our employment and training staff. These positions are essential to achieving our mission, but not fully off-set through revenue from their respective programs. 

We have a good history of meeting Performance Goals; having attained 101% of our goals the past three years.               

 

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Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action (HHFIA) is a non-proselytizing faith and community based volunteer organization providing non-medical support services to seniors and the disabled in underserved communities of Erie County. We are currently serving the Newstead, Alden, Tonawanda Indian Reservation and Wales communities. Our program is one of best efforts and there is no charge for delivery of services. Our trained volunteers (approx. 150) provide friendly companion visits, 'Phone Pal' safety calls, minor home maintenance and handyman services. They also provide door through door transportation for medical appointments and for other errands. In the year 2009, Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action volunteers and staff have provided close to 5000 service units (1 hour of service time equals 1 service unit) and have driven over 50,000 miles to meet the needs of the communities they serve. It could be argued that the number of service units can be doubled to reflect the benefits that our dedicated volunteers also receive by being physically active, socially engaged, and spiritually uplifted by supporting their neighbor's needs. We are proud to say we continue to maintain a 98% success rate in fulfilling the requests (over 2500) for our volunteer services to just under 300 care recipients; a reflection of the training and dedication of our volunteers and staff. Our Volunteer base and Care Recipient numbers continually grow over 10% each year and we are positioning our program to expand into three neighboring townships over the next 3 to 5 year with the potential of tripling our service impact. We are respectfully requesting the United Ways continued support through a $60,000 grant to assist our ability to support the 'Aging in Place' of the elderly and frail we serve while we also support their financial stability by providing our 'Best Efforts' and 'No Charge' volunteer services.

 

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Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection (HW-SC) is a nationally-recognized youth development organization proven to double graduation rates for at-risk youth. HW-SC began as a community-owned model in 1987, and now serves over 3,000 students over multiple sites in the northeast. In 2009, the American Youth Policy Forum recognized HW-SC among 23 of the nation's most effective youth development programs that "Support Youth on the Path to College and Beyond." We request $72,000 to help support HW-SC for to up to 90 students at South Park High School in Buffalo.

HW-SC is a school-home-work partnership providing long-term mentorship through Youth Advocates working in the school with students in grades 9-12 as well as those two years post-graduation. HW-SC identifies/targets students capable of success but due to adverse circumstances need assistance focusing on their education and/or staying in school. Students are eligible if they demonstrate two or more risk factors for high school dropout.

The Center for Governmental Research has conducted three independent reviews of the program and in 2006 noted that HW-SC "continues to result in graduation rates among program participants that are significantly higher than among at-risk comparison group students...the program continues to justify broad financial support, with the focus on maintaining and strengthening the model." Overall, among students entering HW-SC in grades 8-10, 60.4% of the class of 2006 graduated, versus 36.4% of the comparison sample.

 

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Domestic Violence Program provides services to Hispanic victim's ages twenty thru sixty-four years, the median age being thirty.  Most victims are receiving some form of public assistance and have between three to four school age children, and live in the lower West Side of Buffalo, the heart of the Hispanic community.  While our primary focus is the Hispanic community, we do and have served other individuals from other communities that are in need of our services.  The program provides case management, assistance with obtaining orders of protections;  assessment and safety planning; escort to court, support and advocacy in the court system and Social Services; transportation; translation and interpretation; support group and parenting skills training.  HUB's past performance on our previous contracts have been superseded; Last year we worked with not only the Hispanic/Latina women but with other races thru our Emergency Shelter Grant, Transitional Housing for women in shelters or homeless due domestic violence. These elements contributed to the safety and well being of our clients, which made the program offerings to our clients more appealing. HUB is requesting the amount of $10,000.00 grant funding.

 

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HomeOwnership Center - Western New York's central resource for homeownership education, counseling, and financial assistance programming.  The target population for the program is low- and moderate-income and minority households in Western New York.  The Center will provide individual counseling sessions to assist participants in increasing credit scores, increasing household savings levels, and becoming overall 'mortgage-ready.'  The Center will also provide group financial education workshops, in order to ensure homebuyers are equipped with the knowledge necessary to sustain homeownership in the long-run.  Services will not only work towards increasing the financial literacy of the target population and assist them in expanding household assets, but will work towards stabilizing communities throughout Western New York. 

HomeFront, Inc. has and continues to achieve measurable results on United Way of Buffalo and Erie County performance measures, including the number of households who complete a financial education training program, the number of households who create and utilize spending plans, the number of households who establish and maintain bank or credit union savings/ checking accounts, and the number of households who purchase a home.  Since May 1, 2007, 34.7% of the Center's participants completed a financial education training program; 56.5% created and utilized a spending plan; 13% established a bank or credit union savings/ checking account; 18% of those who established accounts maintained them; and 13% of participants purchased a home.

With funding made available, HomeFront, Inc. will continue efforts in decreasing the number of households in Western New York considered to be "asset poor," increase the number of households able to purchase a home, decrease the probability of the target population in utilizing services of predatory lenders, and work towards stabilizing neighborhoods and communities throughout Western New York.

 

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Refugee Self Sufficiency Project has objectives of helping newly arrived refugees, victims of human trafficking, holders of special immigrant visas (SIV) and asylees become self sufficient. We will accomplish these goals by :

·                     linking All clients  to social services to meet immediate needs (all clients are below 100% of poverty level

·                     providing clients with job placement services to jobs that are sustainable and/or in growing industries

·                     ensure clients retain their employment by providing them with a "life coach" who will help them with barriers they face post employment

·                     Providing Financial literacy instruction that will lead to income maintenance and growth for clients pre and post employment.

 

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Immigrants face specific vulnerabilities to violence in the forms of human trafficking and intimate partner violence here in Western New York. The International Institute of Buffalo's (IIB) Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Victim Services Program seeks to provide an enhanced response to foreign-born victims of these horrific crimes who face cultural and linguistic impediments to comprehensive and appropriate services within our community. As a community-based organization whose mission focuses on supporting immigrants and refugees in achieving independence, IIB recognizes the significant and multi-layered needs of this unique population. IIB also has a long history of addressing impediments that foreign-born victims often face when seeking safety and support through the criminal justice and social services systems. Through culturally and linguistically competent services including safety planning, criminal justice-based advocacy, access to immigration legal support, interpretation and translation services, and supportive referrals to community partners, the advocates within IIB's Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Program work diligently to address the vital safety needs of this ever-growing and often overlooked population in Western New York. Most specifically, IIB advocates, along with support from IIB's immigration attorney, work to counter the consistent strategies perpetrators utilize to maintain power and control over these immigrant victims; threats and/or misinformation regarding their immigration status and isolation due to language and cultural barriers.

 

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Financially Fit, an initiative of Jericho Road Ministries, offers free, basic and intermediate financial education to refugees, empowering them and their families with the knowledge needed to successfully navigate our culture's financial systems, manage limited resources, and embrace a healthy financial lifestyle.  It is designed as an 8-week course, teaching refugees within the community about principles of banking, budgeting, paying bills on time, proper credit use, and saving for the future.  Buffalo receives over 1,500 new refugees and immigrants yearly, populations who face many economic and educational barriers as they enter a new culture.  Considering the literacy levels and cultural backgrounds of participants, the program centers around visual and experiential learning.  Material is presented in culturally relevant ways by our Community Liaisons, members of the ethnic groups we serve who teach the classes directly.  Classes are structured by language group, currently offered in Arabic, Burmese, Karen, and Somali.  Participants earn incentive funds for each class they attend, which they can use to open a checking account with one of our partner banks.  By participating, our clients are building a foundation from which they can work toward goals such as home ownership and small business endeavors.  Long term, refugee families will have improved financial situations and continue moving towards economic self-sufficiency and efficacy in this new culture.  With the support of United Way in 2009/2010, Financially Fit graduated over 150 participants: 140 opened new bank accounts, 12 strengthened existing banking relationships, and all were guided in the development of a budget.  In total, these graduates earned $11,430 in incentive funds.  In response to the ongoing community need, Jericho Road Ministries is requesting $61,680 of United Way funding to continue providing vital financial education to refugees in Buffalo.

 

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The Hope Refugee Drop-In Center of Jericho Road Ministries provides post-resettlement advocacy, assistance, and interpreting for Buffalo refugees from 24 ethnic groups. In the past three years 2,049 clients were screened for food stamps, 93% of clients served. Of those screened, 1,806, 88%, acquired food stamps. 2,137 clients were screened for other income supplements, 97% of clients served. Of those, 2,093, 98%, received assistance in accessing these services and acquired one or more of them. The Drop-In Center requests $100,736.00.

 

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Parent Child Home Program of Jericho Road Ministries increases school readiness of refugee and low-income toddlers while developing positive verbal interaction between the child and their parent, in order to create long-term academic success and a reduction of poverty. 88.6% of children completed at least 23 weeks of in-home parenting support, 68.66% increased in awareness of their role in their child's education, and 70% of children demonstrated consistent pro-social behavior. Jericho Road PCHP requests $98,860.00.

 

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The Priscilla Project (TPP) of Jericho Road Ministries facilitates the self-empowerment of vulnerable, pregnant refugee women toward healthy births and increased self sufficiency. Services improve client navigation of the healthcare system and include connecting each woman with a volunteer mentor, refugee doula, perinatal education, infant supplies, and access to other community resources, as needed. In the past three years, 100% of clients were actively enrolled in WIC during participation, and 93.48% were enrolled in both Food Stamps and WIC. 97.82% of participants delivered normal birth weight infants. TPP requests $64,850.00.

 

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The Early Childhood Center (ECC) is a NAEYC-accredited comprehensive program focusing on cognitive, emotional, physical and social skill building.  It includes enrichment activities, multi-cultural curriculum, developing peer relationships and a sense of community.

Additionally, the JCC ECC is part of the field study to create QUALITYstarsNY. New York has joined 30 other states in developing a quality rating and improvement system for early childhood settings. It recognizes all early care and learning programs that exceed state licensing standards, while offering technical assistance and professional development to those programs striving to improve. All NAEYC-accredited programs, like the JCC ECC will receive the highest rating - 5 stars.

Proactively meeting family needs, the JCC has recently introduced an infant program (starting at six weeks old) and Universal Pre-K (UPK - a Federal program implemented through Buffalo Public Schools) It offers child care on either side of pre-school helping  families keep jobs and preparing children for school and life.

 

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Project Integration promotes the long-term self-sufficiency of resettled refugees through its bridging case management and career counseling service. Project Integration ensures that refugee households that struggle to achieve economic self-sufficiency during their first 6 months in the United States do not become vulnerable to homelessness, hunger, and protracted poverty. Project Integration is characterized by two bilingual / bicultural staff, use of interpreters, home visit outreach, and accompanied referral to mainstream social services and employers. A total of $100,386 is requested from the United Way for the first year of project implementation.

Project Integration bridges refugees to the variety of basic need service providers and employers in society, in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner. This service is in contrast to duplicating the services of mainstream providers (e.g. housing; home heat assistance; childcare; transportation).  Project Integration, instead, makes these existing services more accessible and effective for Buffalo's most recently arrived community members.

The Goal of Project Integration is to minimize the income vulnerability of high-need resettled refugee clients who struggle to achieve economic self-sufficiency after the end of the federally mandated resettlement period. Achievement is measured by attainment of the following one-year performance benchmarks:

·                     90% of 150 eligible clients will secure Food Stamps: 135 clients

·                     90% of 100 eligible clients will secure other income supports (e.g. TANF, HEAP, WIC): 90 clients

·                     60% of 83 eligible clients will establish bank or credit union checking/savings accounts: 50 clients

·                     70% of 50 eligible clients will secure employment: 35 clients

·                     70% of 35 eligible clients will maintain employment for a minimum of 6 months: 25 clients

 

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Closing the Gap in Student Performance (CTG) is a collaborative project designed to support academic achievement of student in the schools through non-academic programs.  CTG coordinates and integrate health and human services into the school to address the non-academic barriers of children so learning can be enhanced.  The Family Help Center (formerly Joan A. Male Family Support Center) works in close partnership with school staff and other agencies participating in CTG.  The Family Help Center Family Worker provides services to any students in the three perspective schools as well as their families from grades Pre K - 8TH.    Services provided are unique to each school and could include home visit. i.e., to assess the home life, determine reason for absenteeism, Peer Groups to increase social skills, Crisis Intervention/and Support Counseling making it possible for the child to be seen during a crisis  and General Parent Outreach wherein staff assist with organizing special Parent events.  The Family Help Center works with families in their home assisting with issues of child behavior, medical care, meeting basic survival needs and other parenting skills.  This service is incorporated into CTG offering a holistic approach to increase children's ability to learn.  JAM Family Worker uses home visits to help the parent understand the child's schools needs and help them work with the school to ensure the child's academic success.  The Family Help Center achieved their performance goal for the past several years with an average of 82% of students passing their core subjects, 82% of students decreased or maintained number of suspensions and 88% improved their daily attendance.  Current amount requested for this contract year for JAM CTG Program is $164,025 which would include 3 Full Time Family Workers and 1 (60%) Supervisor (24 hours weekly).

 

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Core Services Program is comprised of several components that meet the needs of the community, with our first priority being the safety and well-being of children with the intended result being the prevention of child abuse and neglect.  The target population is parents and care givers of children in Erie County.  Parents and caregivers who are frustrated and feel they have no support can call our 24-hour Parent Help-Line for support and assistance with parenting.  Key features of the program are our 24-hour Parent Help-Line that offers support and guidance to callers 24/7.  In-Home Crisis intervention which offers callers a home visit from a social worker to further assist in de-escalating the situation and developing a plan of action around the incident that lead to the initial call.  Ongoing follow-up services are offered to provide families with in-home parenting education, support and monitoring the family's progress.

The most frequent types of telephone requests include assistance with parenting, setting limits/boundaries, identifying age-appropriate child developmental stages, age-appropriate discipline, and parental consistency.  Core is a voluntary, self -referred program and our experience is that parents are open to expressing their needs to the worker without the threat of having their children removed.  Our Core program is strength-based and family driven.  We have exceeded our expectations in past performance on United Way's identified measures in the areas of callers to the Parent Help-Line feeling calm at the end of their first call, callers being able to identify one step they will take to de-escalate future crisis or problem situations, and parents or caregivers receiving In-Home support services with increased knowledge of parenting techniques. The amount of funding that we are requesting is $207,425 to fund 4 full-time Family Workers and 1 Supervisor.

 

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The Early Childhood Direction Center (ECDC), part of Kaleida Health, provides technical assistance to professionals and families of preschool children with suspected or diagnosed special needs in order to improve outcomes for young children. The key program features are training, telephone and on-site technical assistance to parents and early childhood professionals to increase early identification, improve knowledge and skills and develop strategies to improve social emotional development of young children. On average past performance has resulted in more than 60 children referred annually to early intervention and preschool special education services, more that 400 early childhood providers annually receiving training and 85% of children demonstrating improved social emotional skills. Additionally, in 2009, 100% of participants responded yes to the questions "Did we treat you well?' and "Did we help you?"  ECDC is requesting $35,972.00 for funding of our program in 2011-2012. 

 

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Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) is a research-proven intensive school-readiness home-visiting program for toddlers and parents. PCHP targets families who are challenged by poverty and low-levels of education.  Each family has a trained Home Visitor that comes into the home twice a week for one half-hour for a minimum of 23 weeks, for up to two program years.  The Home Visitor brings educational books and toys, which are used to develop early literacy and school readiness skills, increase the parent-child verbal interaction, model positive parenting, and promote pro-social behaviors. The learning materials that are gifted to the family serve the additional purpose of creating an educational learning environment in the home that generalizes to other siblings and serves as a bridge to starting school.  Children who have participated in PCHP consistently outperform their peers once they reach school. Ongoing data analysis of standardized assessment outcomes of PCHP and control group children entering kindergarten, leaving kindergarten and from 3rd and 4th grade NYS ELA and Math assessments show that PCHP graduates significantly outperform non-program children at each of these points. The success of PCHP clearly demonstrates the effectiveness of accessing and affecting families in the home and promoting the parent as the child's first and most important teacher.

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Grief and Loss Project will provide counseling, support and education to students and families in Buffalo and Erie County and the professionals who serve them.  Counseling and support will be provided for people affected by a seriously ill loved one, who have had a loved one die, and who have experienced parental divorce or separation.  Programs will take place at Life Transitions Center in Cheektowaga, at Hospice Buffalo locations in the City of Buffalo, and in Buffalo Public Schools.  Components of the Grief and Loss project will be Storm Clouds and Rainbows, a school based bereavement group; Planet Kid and Planet Teen, bereavement groups located at LTC and Hospice Buffalo locations; KidsCope, a school based divorce support group; and Voyagers, a group for children with a seriously ill loved one based at LTC and Hospice Buffalo locations.  In addition, there will be three annual trainings for school-based and community professionals who provide grief counseling to children and families.  In the past, Life Transitions Center has had success in helping kids adjust to life changes.  This has been evidenced by improvements in areas such as student's discipline referrals, attendance, and evaluations completed by students, parents, and teachers.  The new Project will give us the flexibility to continue providing high quality services while recognizing the reality of today's economic climate.  Areas of greatest need will be identified by Site Facilitators in the Closing The Gap initiative and by other professionals in the community.  Services will be provided accordingly. 

 

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LEAP ~ ASAP (Academic Support Assistance Program) is a highly effective after-school program that addresses the disparity in literacy proficiency between low-income children and their more affluent counterparts. LEAP ~ ASAP targets the needs of children in grades 1-6 who reside in the Sheridan Parkside Village Courts, a low-income community located in the Town of Tonawanda. On average, 47 children have been served by LEAP ~ ASAP annually over the last three years.

 The program has two main components: 1) collaborative, small group tutoring in literacy using research-based reading strategies; and  2) expansive library services  (i.e., homework and project assistance, reading and writing enrichment activities, book selection and checkout, assistance with electronic resources, and  information literacy) in a community-driven, state-of-the-art children's library (birth-grade 12) located on-site in LEAP's centrally-located Powerful Literacy Center & Library.

The tutoring component is provided in two eight-week sessions, fall and spring of each school year. Tutors provide individualized literacy instruction to clients in groups of four, two days each week for one hour. Clients are also provided supplementary academic support through LEAP's library services for 45 minutes each weekday over the entire academic year. 

Based on the performance measures identified by the United Way, LEAP ~ ASAP has been highly successful: 100% of clients were promoted to the next grade, 94% improved in schools assessments, 52% improved in school attendance, and 88% demonstrated pro-social behaviors. LEAP's library for children birth-grade 12 is a new component of the program. Officially opened in January 2010, 793 children from Sheridan Parkside were served by LEAP's library in the first three months, indicating the growing demand for LEAP's services in the community.

 

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Supplemental Education Services is a federally funded program, through the No Child Left Behind Act, that provides free supplemental tutoring services to children through an approved provider. Literacy Volunteers is an approved provider of SES services for students K-12.  This program requires that a child attend a School in Need of Improvement (SINI) or School Under Registration Review (SURR) in the City of Buffalo and receive a free or reduced price lunch to prove economic eligibility. Unfortunately, children not meeting these criteria do not receive funding and therefore are denied service by most other providers.  We often find that children in the same family may attend different schools, one failing and one not. Therefore, some children in the family are eligible while the others are not.  It is difficult to deny service to one child but accept the other. In order to accept all students, we need to seek funding from other sources.  The need has increased and we believe that every child should be entitled to this vital program if they need it, regardless of the school they attend.  Through our previous United Way funding we were able to accept 50 ineligible students and provide them with the same services. This year we are requesting $75,000 in order to expand services to more ineligible students and sites.      

Our program has a ratio of 5 multi-aged students to 1 NYS Certified Teacher and 1 Peer Tutor.  Peer Tutors enhance our program by assisting teachers in tutoring.  After enrolled, each student is pre-tested, and an individual learning plan is written to address their individual needs.  This becomes the basis for all instruction for that child. Depending on the site, instruction can be anywhere from 2-4 hours per week.  We use different community sites such as churches, libraries and community centers. 

 

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Homeless Services Program has grown over the past few years and now includes a homeless outreach program, homeless prevention program and soon to be 46 housing vouchers for the chronically homeless.   Our outreach program, the focus of this application, provides services to the homeless throughout Buffalo with focus on the chronically homeless and squatters.  Both are particularly challenging with their own unique features. 

The chronically homeless have been homeless for a very long time and require an engagement technique that focuses on trust and reliability.  The squatters, a unique subset of the homeless population, are defined as individuals who unlawfully occupy property (usually abandoned buildings) owned by others.  Many of these individuals believe they have found a solution to homeless, others feel they are not homeless, and a re-emerging trend - individuals affected by the economy choosing abandoned buildings over the shelter system.  

While each may require different engagement techniques, a  common thread is that they are all homeless - living in conditions unfit for human habitation (no utilities) and often living in environmental hazards (electrical, filth, unstable buildings, etc.).   Squatters are difficult to serve in that they are hard to find, subsequently we have developed a number of unique outreach methods and a specialized assessment in an effort to gain more insight into this population.  

Our program has performed 523 assessments on homeless individuals, 108 of those were chronically homeless and 58 were squatters.  As a result, we housed 107 individuals, provided 823 services and secured $727,065 in annualized benefits for our clients.    Each of these results have far exceeded our past performance measures for the United Way funding - this is largely due to the increase of homeless because of a faltering economy.    In order to continue providing these vital services to the homeless, we are asking for $48,000 from the United Way. 

 

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Basic Emotional Skills Training (formerly the Inner I Program) helps young children enter school ready to learn.  Children who develop healthy social and emotional skills have the tools they need to interact with peers, teachers and family members in a respectful, age-appropriate manner.  B.E.S.T. is a classroom-based program, provided by our staff in two curriculum formats:

·                                            Too Good for Violence 

·                                            Teaching Kids to Care

Too Good for Violence is a SAMHSA approved, evidence-based program.  At-risk Kindergarten through Grade Two students participate in a series of classroom presentations that teach them how to deal with conflicts, frustration, anger and disappointment in positive, age-appropriate ways.  Teaching Kids to Care teaches Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Two students valuable social and emotional skills such as: sharing, taking turns, understanding and expressing feelings, solving conflicts and making safe, healthy choices. Classroom teachers actively participate with their students in B.E.S.T.  Positive behavioral methods are modeled for teachers by our staff over a six to seven week series of presentations.  Specially designed teacher and family training materials are provided.  75% of our student participants attend school in the City of Buffalo. Many of the remaining 25% attend school in first and second ring suburban districts such as Cheektowaga, Lackawanna and Tonawanda. A limited number of presentations are provided in other districts.

B.E.S.T. is independently evaluated by Buffalo State College's Center for Health and Social Research who recently concluded, "Results support the program's ability to demonstrate its positive impact on behavior at a young age." We have exceeded our past United Way Performance Measures in all areas of program delivery.

United Way support in the amount of $65,000 will enable the MHA to provide more than 700 classroom presentations for 2,500 underserved primary grade level students.

 

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Youth Development Program (YDP) is committed to using appropriate scientific, research based prevention models integrated with Native American traditional teachings that reinforce prevention messages.  The program is designed to identify and strengthen each youth's resiliency assets (life skills, decision making skills, self-esteem, etc) through workshops, activities and individual supports.

Key features of the program include, but are not limited to; academic skill building, prevention education messages, recreational play, cultural experiences, pro-social activities, financial literacy, healthy living, goal setting and obtainment, and achievement of self-efficacy.  The program is open to any youth ages 5 to 17 years.

In the past, NACS has had noteworthy experiences with United Way funding opportunities.  In particular and with regard to the most recent funding awarded, the YDP exceeded the projected outcome numbers for the 2008-2009 year.  In addition, contractual obligations tied to overall performance were satisfactory with 79 out of 85 (93%) participants demonstrating reportable progress.  The YS component has recognized the correlation between success in school and youth development.  As a result, a heavy emphasis has been placed on education.

In order to implement a youth development program with a seamless continuum of care, educational supports must be available to the at-risk population in underserved, underdeveloped communities primarily in zip codes 14213, 14201, and 14207.  NACS intends to coordinate, manage and operate an after school academic enrichment program for at least 125 youth.  In order to accomplish this, NACS' YDP is requesting the United Way to financially endorse our efforts in the amount of $87,944.00.

 

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The Native American Elders Program is a program run by Native American Community Services of Erie and Niagara Counties, Inc. (NACS).  NACS is a non-profit organization meeting the human service needs of the off-reservation Native American populations of the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York. The Elders Program serves Native Americans Elders 60 or more years of age, with low income, residing in Erie County. This program is the only one in Buffalo focusing on the health, social, and cultural needs of Native American Elders. This target group has articulated, through surveys and conversation with staff, its social and cultural needs: all have requested programming that brings them traditional Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) knowledge.  This body of knowledge reinforces not only individual cultural identity, but also traditional social norms that stress intergenerational caregiving and holistic approaches to health.  Statistics gathered from this population also illustrate the health crises American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Elders experience today: AI/AN Elders die six years earlier than the national average age of 77.4 years (Ludtke et al., 2002; NCHS, 2004).  These years are characterized by disproportionately high rates of infectious and degenerative disease, and by the social isolation and cultural dislocation urban Native peoples suffer without access to culturally meaningful social interaction.  Our goal is to draw local Native Elders into culture-specific social interaction with focus on promoting healthier lifestyles through hosting bi-weekly Elders' luncheons, Traditional Speaker Series events, and other culturally relevant activities. The Program will assist Elders, identifying personal needs, making referrals, and ensuring that necessary services are accessible.  NACS has received funding from the United Way since 1998, and have met performance measures for past Elders programming.  But do not have data on the current identified performance measures for this grant cycle. We are requesting $55,890 for our Native American Elders Program.

 

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Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. Domestic Violence Advocacy at Family Justice Center of Erie County, Inc.   The target population for this program includes victims of domestic violence in Erie County. All victims that we serve will have income at or below 200 % of the federal poverty level.  Historically, 95 % of our clients have been women, with 90 % of the clients being between the age of 21 and 50, with little difference in the number of clients served within smaller age subsets. 25 % of clients are African American and 8 % Hispanic.

The program delivers services in a collaborative setting at the Family Justice Center of Erie County ("FJC"). The program is staffed by a paralegal, co-located with other service providers at the FJC. The paralegal conducts a civil legal needs assessment, explains basic options, provides information and referrals to the courts, law enforcement, and other human services agencies both on and off site, and when necessary does safety planning.  Where appropriate, the paralegal refers clients to program attorneys at NLS for legal representation principally in family offense, divorce, custody and child support cases.

From July 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009 the program served 221 clients. All clients benefited from program services by gaining knowledge concerning their legal options. 143 clients benefited by completing a safety plan. 22 clients gained successful legal outcomes with 13 obtaining a divorce from their abuser during the six month period. From January 1, 2010 to April 30, 2010, an additional 226 clients received program services. Civil legal services provided by this program have consistently been the most requested services by any not for profit co-located at the FJC.     

 

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Academic Improvement Program is a full comprehensive program that includes not only a homework assistance program, but one to one and group tutoring, social skills building, literacy, computer literacy, job readiness skills, and recreation components.

Our targeted population is youth ages 6-19 years old who resides in the City of Buffalo and County of Erie.  One of the new and unique areas for us is that re-construction of a new computer lab that is used by both the youth in the academic program but also community residents in search of employment.  Our Academic Improvement Program coupled with this new lab, is further strengthened by our athletic & recreational components and serves to attract and retain youth within the program.

Being a United Way agency, we have continued to strengthen our Academic Improvement Program over the years.  We have continued to be timely on our performance tracking reports to the United Way. Within those reports we have consistently achieved successful results, often exceeding projections made within RFP's. Within the last three years, our youth reading scores have increased 1-2 grades levels each year, which is a testament to the design of the program and the staff who supervise it.

NWBCC is asking for $20,000.00 to continue serving the youth of our community, and strengthening their academic and social skills which will be very important to their future success as adults.  

 

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Senior Vision Services's goal is to maximize the independence and safety of visually impaired seniors, residing in Erie County, through the use of medical and functional assessments provided by our specially trained staff in the field of vision loss. 

Our vision rehabilitation clinic provides; specialized optometric evaluations to maximize functional vision through the use of spectacles, magnification and lighting, diabetic assessment and education from a vision perspective, occupational therapy, one on one and group counseling related to vision loss and mobility issues resulting from neuropathy and/or arthritis.  Transportation is available and we accept all insurances including Medicare and Medicaid.

Home assessments are provided by registered nurses to ensure client's safety and help increase their independence in skills of daily living.  Simple tasks including telephone usage, setting the thermostat, differentiating medications and simple meal prep may be improved by introducing a simple adaptive technique or by administering tactile markings.

Based on phone satisfaction surveys, in 2009 our consumers reported nearly a 100% success rate by seeing an increase in independence following the consumer's participation in the program.  This often results in the ability to remain in one's own home and experience an improved quality of life.

Based on an annual operating budget of nearly $70,609, the Olmsted Center is requesting $22,000 in funding towards the provision of programming to visually impaired seniors.

 

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Project CARE, led by Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) in collaboration with the Child Care Resource Network (CCRN), Every Person Influences Children (EPIC), WNED-TV, Literacy Volunteers and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library was funded in 2007 by a three-year $400,000 grant from the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation.  While child care providers must meet health and safety regulations for licensing, education is not a requirement.  Determined to fill the education gap, RTSB and its partners have been incubating a model that prepares children in licensed, home-based childcare provider sites for Kindergarten.  Project CARE partners have realized impressive results during the grant period yet, through active learning, the partners believe that refining the model will make it even stronger and more self-sufficient.

 

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Movin' Seniors focus is to provide affordable, safe, and reliable transportation to senior residents to destinations which allow them to maintain a happier, healthier and more independent lifestyle and to heighten senior involvement in the community. 

Movin' Seniors main purpose though the Rural Transit Service organization is to provide transportation to senior citizens.  However, in addition to seniors Rural Transit will transport low/moderate income individuals and disabled clients.  Eligible residents are transported to dialysis clinics, medical offices, physical therapy, pharmacies, colleges, work places, nutrition sites, adult day cares, grocery stores, banks, salons/barbers, etc, with medical trips taking priority.  Rural Transit vehicles will transport residents with door to door service, anywhere that they need to go to complete their daily life routine.

The true value and strength of their service is verified by the fact that the driving and dispatching is entirely run by a volunteer workforce!  To date, almost 130 people volunteer their services as drivers, dispatchers and driver aides in the nine vans they operate.  They run on an exceptionally low operating budget, and in turn their clients are not required to contribute for their services provided, although donations are accepted and encouraged (suggested $2.00 donation per trip).

To date the program is operating in twenty five (25) municipalities in Erie County.  Rural Transit vans provide an average of over 16,000 rides each year.  Over 1,900 individuals are currently registered for active use on their vans. 

 

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Senior Citizen Center Activities Program.  This program serves individuals who are 60+ and living in low and moderate income households on the East Side of Buffalo and adjacent neighborhoods of Cheektowaga.  Our senior activities program offers fitness classes, a nutritious lunch, educational classes, monthly social events, bus trips to recreational and cultural destinations, and van transportation to the senior center and medical appointments.

We track data for the following United Way identified measures: clients incorporating increased physical activity into daily living, clients reporting they use transportation service to meet basic needs, and clients reporting they always or usually get the social and emotional support they need.  In 2009, we had an average of 205 fitness participants per month.  85% reported they maintained or increased overall physical activity through these programs. In 2010 we've had 188 participants per month in our fitness classes.  85% of these participants reported they maintained or increased overall physical activity through these programs.  In 2009 our transportation service provided on average 325 units of service per month.  There were 190 unduplicated riders.  93% reported this service met their basic needs to get to important appointments.  And 93% reported this service met their social/civic needs to get to the senior center and social activities.  In 2010 our transportation service provided on average 332 units of service per month.  There were 187 unduplicated riders.  100% reported this service met their basic needs to get to important appointments.  And 100% reported this service met their social/civic needs to get to the senior center and social activities.

In 2011 we plan to enlist a best practices consultant to provide us with additional training and evaluation tools to measure fitness and health outcomes from our fitness program.

 

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Crisis Services Advocate Program: Confidential 24 hour crisis intervention, case management and therapy for victims of rape, domestic violence, family violence and elder abuse  

 

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Emergency Family Assistance Program (EFA) serves as a central intake for thousands of clients and provides tangible assistance (food, clothing, etc.) to those in need. This program administers several other initiatives, including the Neighbor for Neighbor Heat Fund for those 60 years or older and individuals with disabilities struggling to pay their heating bills. In addition, EFA offers linkages to other programs within The Salvation Army that enables the individual to address other important needs including emergency shelter, family education, employment services, domestic violence, Hispanic services, and conflict resolution workshops. EFA also offers Christmas assistance, which provides toys, gifts, and food during the holiday season.

Approximately 13,500 are served within the Emergency Family Assistance Program annually. The majority of the individuals and families served are living below the poverty level, and lack the resources to purchase basic needs such as food, clothing, household, and personal care items as demonstrated by the documentation required to receive services.  In order to continue serving disadvantaged families and individuals within our community, The Salvation Army respectfully requests $60,000 from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. It is our goal to reduce financial strain within lower-income households by providing them assistance with their basic needs.

 

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Emergency Family Shelter - For over 45 years, The Salvation Army has operated an emergency family shelter for homeless families and individuals who live in Buffalo and Erie County. The Salvation Army's Emergency Shelter is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with trained counselors who work diligently to meet the basic needs of the homeless population in Western New York. This facility provides temporary living accommodations and programs that help enhance the quality of life for approximately 600 men, women, and children annually. Our services include safe and secure housing, three full meals and one evening snack daily, all personal care items (soap, shampoo, diapers, etc.) and caseworkers to assist them in their goal of securing permanent housing. Since 2007, over 900 individuals residing at the Emergency Family Shelter found permanent housing.

 

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Employment Services Program has provided workfare, employment readiness training, job placement, and supportive services to individuals referred by the Erie County Department of Social Services (ECDSS). Approximately 95% of the individuals served include female, head-of-household, welfare recipients who lack the skills, self-esteem, and resources needed to find gainful employment. Employment Services not only offers job placement services, but also provides our participants with additional tools needed for employment search and success. These resources include job readiness training, self-esteem building, case management, G.E.D./Computer classes, resume preparation, and eventually employment placement, further assisting them toward economic self-sufficiency. The Salvation Army respectfully requests $30,000 from the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County in our continued efforts to assist clients within our Employment Services Program. Our objective is to increase employability among our job seekers by providing them with the proper resources and tools necessary to obtain and retain employment.

 

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Golden Age Center has offered adults and senior citizens, ages 50 and older, the opportunity to make new friends and participate in recreational, educational, and spiritual activities in a safe environment. As a congregate meal site, the Center provides breakfast and hot lunches, Monday through Friday to program members. The Golden Age Center also provides numerous opportunities for member to stay active, engaged, and involved. Instructional classes, referrals, workshops, shopping, overnight trips, and recreation are but a few of the benefits of membership. Members can participate in computer and art classes, play cards and bingo, or just join their friends for lunch. Currently, the Golden Age Center has 403 members.

This multi-purpose center provides an atmosphere that is not only mentally stimulating, but is also a critical resource that enables this underserved population the opportunity to progress through healthy aging, despite financial hardships. One goal of the GAC is to link participants with resources and outlets that promote well-being through mental and physical exercise. The program offers a fitness room, exercise classes, health workshops, and chiropractic services provided by the University at Buffalo. In order to continue serving the older adult population within our community, The Salvation Army respectfully requests $50,000 from the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County. It is our goal to improve the physical health and emotional security of our members through increased mental activity, social well-being, enhanced social networks, and improved health behaviors.

 

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Keep Moving Program was specifically designed and implemented to maintain healthy lifestyles in elderly residents, including recommended levels of physical activity, proper nutrition, peer interaction, counseling and education, socialization, and access to support services. Several recent studies have shown the negative effects of reduced cognitive and physical activity, and contrarily, the positive effects of maintaining an interactive lifestyle.  This program is dedicated to maintaining independence and improving quality of life by creating an environment built on trust and comfort that will foster and promote healthy behavior.

 

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Striving For Excellence Youth Program meets the needs of some of the most "at risk" and impoverished youth in the Buffalo River Community.  These youth comprise the program's target population.  The comprehensive program includes academic remediation as well as academic enrichment activities.  The majority of activities are based on NYS Learning Standards and include homework help, physical education, art classes, Nature Ed-Ventures science classes, mentoring, recreation leagues, Boy and Girl Scouts, family events, and field trips.  Youth are exposed to new experiences and knowledge that they otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience.  The "First In The Family" Program allows youth to attend institutions of secondary education, most with financial assistance.  Families, once convinced that college was unattainable, are participating in the selection and process of enrolling their children in college.  The majority of the youth are the first in their families to attend college, breaking the cycle of poverty.

 

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Tools for Living program now provides food and clothing crisis assistance, income support screening, free tax preparation, and even career counseling and resume writing.

 

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The Valley Child Care (VCC) is an organization within the Valley Community Association (VCA).  The VCC is a non-profit child care center located in the Buffalo River Community and was created to serve the families of this low socio-economic area and to provide high quality child care to underprivileged children.  The Valley Child Care at the Larkin Building (VCC@LCo) was built in 2004 to accommodate working families in the newly renovated Larkin District.  Both centers serve children in 17 different Zip codes throughout the area.  The VCC was created to meet the NYS standards of high quality child care with its architectural design, staffing model and curriculum design.  Some of the key program features include Universal PreK, highly qualified and consistent staff, the proximity to the VCA Nature Park and Habitat Trail, and most importantly its ability to provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment to children ages 6 weeks to 12 years.  Past performance measures have shown over the past three years that 90% of the children that attend the VCC will achieve their developmental milestones, 95% of children have the skills necessary to enter school, 100% are read to everyday and 100% attend a high quality child care center.  The VCC respectfully requests $80,000 to assist with program supplies and salaries.

 

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Leaders in Training Summer Program is an intensive five week academic enhancement and social skills development program for 6th grade students from high-risk, Buffalo Public partner schools.   The goals of the program are to improve student academic performance and improve student knowledge of pro-social skills.  The program is evaluated through individualized student assessments.  The evaluation utilizes a pre-test/post test design to determine program effectiveness.  Past program performance evaluations have yielded very positive results, with high percentages of program participants improving their basic math, applied math, vocabulary, and writing fluency scores.  WNY United is requesting $35,000 from the United Way to partially fund this important program aimed at improving student academics for high-risk students.   

 

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Early Childhood Centers for children 6 weeks to 5 years at two locations: YWCA/Makowski in east Buffalo and YWCA/School House Commons in northwest Buffalo.  The YWCA childcare programs were established over twenty years ago to help empower woman to obtain and retain self-sufficiency by providing high quality, affordable, accessible care.  The YWCA also operates a program in collaboration with the Buffalo Public Schools to allow teen mothers to complete their high school education.

The YWCA of WNY Early Childhood Programs encourage child development in a structured yet flexible format and is based on the individual needs of the child. YWCA Early Childhood Centers are designed to encourage each child's emotional, social, intellectual, creative, cultural and physical development in a safe, nurturing, anti-bias environment. We believe that children learn best by being active participants in hands-on, explorative activities.  Most of the children in our program are funded through a subsidy program that makes child care more affordable for low-income parents.  Our Universal Pre-Kindergarten program at Schoolhouse Commons provides a valuable educational opportunity for the children of recent immigrants to Buffalo.

Our performance measures in the Education platform are:  1) number of children achieving developmental milestones; 2) number of children who are read to on a daily basis; and 3) the number of parents who are aware of their role in early learning.

The YWCA is requesting $26,500 in funding specifically for our Early Childhood Centers and services provided for teen and low-income parents.

 

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