Friday, July 6, 2012

United Way grants $4.84 million to projects in four-county area

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette will be distributing $4.84 million in grant funding to projects in the Portland-Vancouver area on July 1, 2012. The grants will enhance education, reduce poverty, improve community health and meet families’ emergency needs.

“We are thrilled to be making these investments," said Keith Thomajan, President and CEO. "Each organization, in its own way, helps build stronger, healthier communities in our region. And each grant was made possible by thousands of generous donors -- people who give, volunteer and use their voice to create change in our communities."

In the four-county area, one-third of local high-school students do not graduate on time. Half a million people in the area live in poverty. At least 15% of people do not have health insurance. United Way’s funded projects aim to meet immediate needs while working to change systems so that all people have the support they need to succeed.

$3.22 million will go towards 48 one-year grants in the areas of education, income and health. Grants for direct-service programs range from $50,000 to $100,000 and capital project grants range from $2,000 to $40,000.

  • Education projects support middle school success, high school completion and transition to career or college.
  • Income projects reduce poverty by promoting family-wage employment and affordable housing.
  • Health grants help to build healthy, non-violent family relationships and connect people in need with mental and oral health care.
  • Capital projects help nonprofits whose overall work is in education, income and health better serve their clients through facilities improvements and equipment purchases.

In addition, $1.6 million will fund ongoing strategic initiatives that have proven results in supporting United Way’s focus areas of enhancing education, reducing poverty, improving community health and meeting families’ emergency needs.

In past funding cycles, United Way has given out three-year grants. This year, the organization is giving out one-year grants to give nonprofits a chance to access funds while United Way takes the time to research needs, engage with the community and sharpen its strategic focus for the next grant cycle.

The funding decisions were driven by a diverse pool of volunteers from corporate partners, community leaders, and United Way staff members who collectively contributed nearly 2,000 hours towards the process.  “I was truly impressed with the rigor and thoughtfulness employed by our staff and volunteers,” said Thomajan.

In this year’s giving campaign, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette raised $22,005,560. That includes donations from more than 20,000 people as well as corporate and individual gifts. The funding that did not go to this year’s grants was made up of donations sent directly to the charity of the donor’s choice. This $11 million in general-purpose funding provides important sustaining support for hundreds of local non-profits.  Importantly, thanks to the support of United Way’s Cornerstone Partners, 100% of overhead costs are covered and, as a result, 100% of every private donation goes directly back into our community.

More information about the funded projects is available online at


Funded Projects: Education

Adelante Mujeres

Journey to College


Camp Fire Columbia

From Surviving to Thriving


Concordia University Foundation

Launch Pad


IRCO: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization

IRCO - School Success for Newcomers


Janus Youth Programs, Inc.

Janus Youth - Food Works Academic Youth Leadership Program


Mt. Scott Learning Centers

Transitions Program


Native American Youth and Family Center

NAYA Family Center Early College Academy Enhancement Project


Open Meadow Alternative Schools

Step Up


Self Enhancement, Inc.

SEI - Youth Potential Realized


Todos Juntos

Todos Juntos


Funded Projects: Income

Bridge Meadows

Uniting Foster Youth, Families and Seniors


CASH Oregon

Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Tax Help


Community Housing Resource Center CHRC

Financial Education & Counseling Program


DePaul Industries

Finding Employment for Homeless People with Disabilities


JOIN: Connecting the Street to a Home

JOIN: Leading from Home


Mercy Corps Northwest

Reentry Transition Center


Northwest Housing Alternatives, Inc.



Northwest Pilot Project, Inc.

Housing Stabilization & Retention for At-Risk Seniors


Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc.

Constructing Green Futures - Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc


Second Step Housing

Positive Steps to Community



Let Us Build Cully Park!


Voz Workers' Rights Education Project

Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center


Funded Projects: Health

Asian Health and Service Center

Tri-County Mental Health Connection for Asians


Cascade AIDS Project

Youth HIV Education


Clackamas Women's Services

Clackamas Women's Services A Coordinated Community Response


Free Clinic of Southwest Washington

Adult Dental Access Program


Listen To Kids

Parent Child Involvement Project


Luke-Dorf, Inc.

Peer Supported Engagement


Lutheran Community Services Northwest (Portland Metro)

Lutheran Community Services NW - Pathways


Northwest Family Services

Access to Dental Care Program


The Wallace Medical Concern

Lasting Smiles


Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation

Enhancing Access to Oral Health Care for Low-income Children and Families


Youth Contact, Inc.

Rebuilding Family Alliance


Funded Capital Projects

Asian Health and Service Center

Stay in Touch



Receta para Exito (Recipe for Success)


Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare, Inc

Prescott Terrace - Green Heat Upgrade!


Clackamas Service Center

Food Services and Warehousing Job Training Program


CODA-Comprehensive Options for Drug Abusers, Inc.

Fresh Start in New Housing


Columbia River Mental Health Services

Improve Mental Health Therapy


Emile Fries Piano Hospital and Training Center

HVAC Replacement Project


Friends of the Children - Portland

On the Road to Success


IRCO: Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization

IRCO: Africa House


Native American Youth and Family Center

NAYA Family Center Early College Academy Enhancement Project


New Avenues For Youth

Social Purpose Enterprise Initiative


Outside In

IT/Communication Project


Peninsula Children's Center

Family Services Expansion Project Peninsula Children's Center


The Salvation Army Cascade Division

White Shield Center Independent Living Capital Project


YWCA Clark County

Facilities Upgrade to Impact Survivors of Violence


Funded Strategic Initiatives

  • Community Relief Fund: Helps families in need with emergency food, rent, utility and prescription assistance.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit: Helps low-income working families get the tax credits they deserve through free tax preparation and filing.
  • 211info: Provides free referrals to community resources.
  • Project Access NOW: Helps low-income and uninsured people access free health care.
  • Labor’s Community Service: Assists unemployed union workers with emergency rent and utility assistance.

1 comment:

  1. This is very interesting data. I never knew that there was so much positive work done in the states. I am glad to see foundations working with citizens to make a situation better. Do you think any funding will go toward an initiative that assist people who are seeking irs tax help? I have a brother in law who is going through this arduous process as we speak. I hope he finds the help he need. Thank you for giving me something positive to read in these gloomy times.