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The Income and Safety Council for United Way of the Ozarks announced funding to three local agencies focusing on financial stability, independence and safety for those in need. KSMU’s Shannon Bowers reports on how this yearlong funding contributes to the local community.
The organization awarded $940,000 to the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter, Harmony House and The Victim Center, which will help five different programs addressing basic needs for victims of disaster and abuse. One of those programs is the Emergency Shelter Program from the Harmony House.
Rodney Dwyer is the executive director for Harmony House, whose Emergency Shelter Program is among the beneficiaries.
“We were able to help 560 people with residential services but we had to turn away over 1,120 people because we are full,” Dwyer said.
United Way allocated $72,482 to the Emergency Shelter Program for 2014, a nearly $1,500 increase from last year.
“Somebody can literally show up with the clothes on their back and we will help take it from there. We offer food, clothing, shelter and personal hygiene products, and a safe place to stay. Everything that you would think of from a basic shelter environment but going far beyond that we have a lot of program services to help an individual transition to a life free of abuse,” said Dwyer.
Within some of these programs, case managers work with individuals to establish goals for an abuse-free life. Daycare, counseling, and legal advocacy references are provided for those in need as well. This funding will go directly to serving 2,400 Safe Bed Nights all over the Ozark area.
Additionally, the American Red Cross Greater Ozarks Chapter received $490,000 for their Emergency Service Program that serves 96,000 people affected by disaster. The Victim Center was awarded a total of 158,960 for their adult, children and prevention education services.
For KSMU News, I’m Shannon Bowers