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United Way institutes community response fund for families to assist area homeless during winter months



United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra (UWNNS) announced that the UWNNS Board of Directors has approved utilization of its “Community Response Fund: Emergency Housing Fund for Families” program for the 2011-12 winter season. This program will be available for all United Way partner agencies that provide shelter assistance in the United Way service region that extends across northern Nevada as well as in the Lake Tahoe Basin.

The UWNNS Board of Directors has allocated $50,000 to the program to be used to reimburse agencies that provide shelter and case management to families in need. Due to a current funding shortage in the Reno area, it is probable that UWNNS partner agencies providing services at the Community Assistance Center on Record Street will use the program funds to help with shelter provision. During winter months, the number of homeless individuals needing shelter increases and the Community Assistance Center is limited to the number of people it can hold in its facility on Record Street.

“The UWNNS board felt it was very important to use the Emergency Housing Fund for Families to assist these individuals in need during the frigid months ahead,” said Karen Barsell, chief executive officer and president of UWNNS. “Over the past few years as our economy has become more difficult to navigate, more and more people within our region need assistance for basic needs such as shelter. This is a need we could not ignore.”

The “Emergency Housing Fund for Families” initiative is a component of UWNNS’ Community Response Fund that supplies a safety net intended to guide families along a continuum leading to self-sufficiency. This program alleviates the immediate homelessness of families who have exhausted all other resources. The funds are used to reimburse nonprofit organizations throughout the service region that are providing appropriate case management for the family as well as shelter.

UWNNS’ Community Response Fund is comprised of dollars from donor contributions during the annual community campaign that are set aside by the UWNNS Board of Directors. The fund helps to address critical issues related to United Way’s mission, priorities and community impact agenda.

About United Way of Northern Nevada and the Sierra

The foundation that nurtures and supports healthy lives is made up of three, interconnected ‘building blocks’ – education, financial stability and health. United Way is ideally suited to create positive, lasting change by addressing all three areas as one – through proper expertise, capacity and relationships. Join us! Bring your passion, knowledge and resources to get things done all across our community. We all win when a child succeeds in school, when a neighborhood turns around and when workers have solid jobs. For more information, call 775-322-8668 or visit www.uwnns.org.

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