Cumberland Times-News

January 16, 2013

Agency targets homeless problem

For the Cumberland Times-News
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The United Way of Allegany County is seeking proposals for homeless prevention programs.

 The goal of the program is to build community awareness that there are hidden homeless people, create community dialogue around affordable housing, develop affordable housing opportunities, advocate and provide awareness for services and support, such as mental health and literacy programs, and providing continuing education for clients to keep them from becoming homeless again.

Application details are available by calling 301-722-2700 or 877-597-2700 or by emailing cuw@allconet. org. Final proposals are due by Feb. 22.

Allegany County has identified programs to address the homeless problem as its main concern. Multiple partnerships and collaboration are key elements to every proposal.

United Way of Allegany County has funded a collaborative proposal for homeless program initiatives for the past two years that provides support for people who are homeless or potentially homeless. Partnering agencies include Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission, Associated Charities, The Family Junction, Girl Scouts of the Nation’s Capital, Maryland Cooperative Extension and the YMCA.

Agencies seeking funding for their proposals will be required to work with at least one other agency. “Throughout the many meetings, one topic always surfaced — the need for program collaboration,” said Betsey Hurwitz-Schwab, chair of the Executive Committee for Allegany County. “The County United Way cannot solve these problems alone, but we can serve as a catalyst in the process, advocate for common needs and partner with others who may be in the best position to make a great impact on our community.”

The move to greater community impact funding will take several years and will not change other funding choices. Donors to the United Way may still specify that their dollars be designated to a particular agency or program. “The move toward impact funding allows everyone in the community to identify a need, work together to solve the problem and put the maximum amount of dollars toward the solution,” said Hurwitz-Schwab.

The Community Impact Task Force of United Way may negotiate the final proposals for funding.