UW partner agencies help residents in crisis

Starr report

SIDNEY — Each year events or decisions take place that impact or change a resident’s life. From domestic violence to victims of crime and substance abuse to fires and floods, United Way Partner agencies are ready to serve.

Last year, Victim Services served 418 victims of crime. They are called to all death notification scenes and all sexual violence scenes. Their advocates assisted 18 rape victims, six families whose minors were sexually assaulted, 44 assault victims, six felonious assault victims, three death notifications, and many more. Their agency provides therapy to the victim and victim’s family at no cost. Sixty-eight victims last year benefited from 840 hours of therapy in 2015.

“You hope and pray that you or a family member never have to need their services, but during a tragedy or a crime are grateful they are here in Shelby County,” said Scott Barr, executive director of the Shelby County United Way.

In 2015, New Choices Domestic Violence Shelter served 367 residents, including 81 who were sheltered. They provide a safe structured home for victims of domestic violence and their children. They have a 24 hour hot line and provide restraining order assistance for those who do not need shelter. Currently the shelter is undergoing a major renovation which should be completed before the end of the year.

Substance abuse continues to impact Shelby County and all residents are affected as well as our schools, agencies, courts, and non-profits are impacted. This issue continues to challenge our County budget as more funding is needed to serve the children impacted by their parent’s substance abuse. Samaritan Works provides structure and programming in their sober living homes. They operate two homes on the campus of Sidney First United Methodist Church and are in the process of rehabilitating a third home that will be used for graduates to live in as they transition back into society. A transition home is a best practice to reduce the chance of a client relapsing. Last year 30 men and women were served by Samaritan Works.

Red Cross continues to serve the community and is on site after fires to comfort and place residents for two to three nights of housing until permanent arrangements can be made. They continue to do school based education courses, including the Pillow Case Project that teaches elementary students to have a plan in getting out in case of a fire. Over the past two years, they have implemented their neighborhood smoke detector program and have canvased our most at risk neighborhoods using trending data on fires. Last year, 953 residents, including children in class rooms, were served by the Red Cross.

The Shelby County United Way is a local 501 c 3 non-profit organization. Monies raised in the annual campaign are invested locally under the leadership and direction of our local volunteer Board of Directors and Community Allocation Volunteers. The Shelby County United Way has earned the highest rating from Charity Navigator for the third consecutive year. Through the fourth week, the campaign totals are $233,640.Contact the Shelby County United Way at 937-492-2101 to learn how to make a gift.


Starr report


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