United Way of Central Iowa’s new Hope Initiative aims to help lift 25 single-parent families out of poverty by coordinating programs and services to fit each family’s specific needs.
Focused on improving financial stability, ensuring timely high school graduation and building healthy lifestyles, United Way is partnering with four agencies–Hawthorn Hill, Oakridge Neighborhood Services, Bidwell Riverside and Iowa Homeless Youth Centers–for the demonstration project. Case managers will work with families to address a variety of needs, such as food, rent and utility assistance, mental health and legal services, education and job training, transportation and child care.
As its name suggests, the Central Iowa Hope Initiative offers a comprehensive approach that also recognizes the value of intangible resources. Hope, for example, is a critical factor in the ability of at-risk families to become self-sufficient and of children to do well in school, United Way President Mary Sellers says. “When people move from not having hope to having hope, they see a future,” she says. “They want to take steps to do better and improve their lives.” —Kellye Crocker