United Way of Lake County Announces 2020-2021 Funding Allocations

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United Way of Lake County Announces 2020-2021 Funding Allocations

Mentor, OH (July 7, 2020) – United Way of Lake County (UWLC) Board of Directors recently voted to approve an investment of $1,070,000 for 40 health and human service programs administered by 27 nonprofit agencies.

The allocations include $40,000 in funds allocated by Women United and $15,000 in funds allocated by the Emerging Leaders, both affinity groups of UWLC.

The announcement caps a six-month process during which volunteers on UWLC’s Community Impact committee reviewed letters of intent from a two-fold process along with funding requests to determine how to best allocate donor dollars. 

United Way of Lake County backs programs for the most critical issues facing the community in the areas of Basic Needs, Education, Financial Stability and Health. The list of programs and agencies who will receive allocated funds can be found on the organizations website at https://www.uwlc.org/funded-programs-fiscal-year-2020.

The top seven Lake County agencies awarded the greatest funds include:

  • $141,500 – Lake County Free Clinic: Funds provided in support of their Medical care, Dental care and Case Management programs for uninsured and underinsured individuals
  • $125,200 – Crossroads Health: Funds provided in support of their Early Childhood Intervention program and their Mental Health Counseling program for adults
  • $100,600 - The Salvation Army of Painesville: Funds provided in support of their Youth Learning Zone, Emergency Services, and Red Shield Homeless programs
  • $82,551 - Lake County YMCA: Funds provided in support of their Child Care, Summer Learning and Financial Assistance programs
  • $80,000 – Forbes House: Funds provided in support of their Domestic Violence Shelter
  • $68,000 – Lake County Council on Aging: Funds provided in support of their Congregate Meal program for Seniors
  • $64,000 - Project Hope for the Homeless: Funds provided in support of their Homeless Shelter


Last year UWLC announced the establishment of three new 5-year data driven goals in the areas of Education, Financial Stability and Health. This included increasing the percentage of children who are kindergarten ready, eliminating barriers to self-sufficiency to decrease the percentage of working poor, and increasing the availability of healthcare resources. The goals were set based on detailed research they conducted, which included feedback from a series of community conversations held to pinpoint the areas of greatest concern to residents. During this time, UWLC also announced that 2020-2021 allocations would be based on a new, three-year funding cycle to help meet these goals, verses the one-year impact model of the past.

According to UWLC Vice President and Director of Community Relations Jean Sency, “The pandemic delayed the rollout of our new funding model and brought on an entirely new set of challenges that we’re facing head on right now. We take our role serving the needs of our community with extreme seriousness and knew it was important to pivot during these unprecedented times.”

Given this, allocations were made based on UWLC’s one-year funding model. The organization hopes to revisit the rollout of their new model and newly established 5-year goals next year but will allow the needs of the community to dictate the role they play.

“We were faced with making some tough calls this year. Our Community Impact volunteer committee thoroughly vets each non-profit agency being considered for funding. This year’s vetting process included new agency conversations that centered around how the pandemic has affected their needs,” said Sency. “Most indicated a rise in demand for basic needs, and our allocations reflect this.”

Some new programs did, however, make the cut. A few include Mentor Public Library’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library early childhood literacy program which aligns with UWLC’s new kindergarten readiness goal. Another includes two NAMI Lake County programs which focus on providing mental health services and tie in with UWLC’s health goal. The Wickliffe City School District was also awarded funds for their Family Resource Center based on the support provided to those in need.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to our Community Impact committee volunteers,” says Sency. “The allocation process is daunting, and these volunteers contributed hundreds of hours assuring that our organization is a responsible steward of the funds we receive from donors. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Over and above the $1,070,000 allocated in support of agency programs, UWLC distributed an additional $258,829 in EFSP funds they received to help supplement the work of emergency food and shelter programs in Lake County.

The organization also raised over $130,000 in Lake County Relief Funds which were provided to local non-profits on a rolling basis in support of immediate needs that were brought on by Covid-19. Information on funded relief programs can be found online at  uwlc.org/lake-county-relief-fund.

“Our initial goal was to provide support for the critical, rapidly arising needs of the community,” said Sency. “Moving forward, we’re looking at the long-term effects of the pandemic and how funds we’ve earmarked for this can be put to work in support of our community.”

“We’re proud of the work we do to benefit Lake County residents. In addition to the funds we contribute in support of agency programs, we assist those in need with our Feed Lake County food drive and Day of Caring each year,” said UWLC President and CEO Jennifer McCarty. “Last year we provided over 40 local food pantries with enough food for 330,134 meals. And thanks to the generosity of our community, we collected and distributed over 300 Care Kits during this year’s June 24th Day of Caring.”