October 25, 2014

Medina
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United Way reveals revised funding

With its new focus on ending problems and breaking cycles, a host of new programs were added to United Way of Medina County’s funding cycle this year.

“We’re focusing on populations where we know that if we get it now, we won’t have those problems in the future,” United Way Executive Director Seth Kujat has said.

United Way granted $838,958 to more than two dozen county nonprofits on July 1. The organization awarded $573,166 last year.

The new funding system is a result of a three-year study by United Way and its partner agencies on the biggest needs in Medina County. The study concluded the largest areas of need in Medina County were early childhood development, youth engagement and long-term employment.

Kujat said United Way took the findings from the study and funded nonprofits that addressed those needs directly.

The organization designated more than $170,000 to putting mental health professionals in three of the five county high schools.

United Way also designated $300,000 to job training and employment services throughout the county.

Kujat said the study indicated that 20 percent of high school students in the county have contemplated suicide.

The data showed that almost 24 percent of households in Medina County make less than $35,000 a year.

Other programs receiving funding that did not last year include the Medina County District Library, the Medina Community Police Activities League and Community Action.

Kujat said the new funding system replaces an 86-year-old model that just asked how many people the United Way could help. The new model is “about giving to the programs that are meeting the greatest needs in Medina County.”

He said United Way received $1.5 million in grant applications and has a target goal of raising $1.3 million next year.

Kujat said nonprofit partner agencies were told

34 months ago that United Way was heading in a different direction and they might not receive funding as a result.

Missing from the funding list this year were the American Red Cross, Faith in Action, Kidney Foundation, Medina Creative Housing, Mobile Meals and Operation Homes.

FUNDING RECIPIENTS
The first number is this year’s amount; the second is the 2013 amount.
Early childhood development: $100,000
• Child Guidance and Family Solutions, Toddlers and Preshoolers Succeeding: $20,000; $0
• Medina County District Library, Medina County ROCKS: $15,000; $0
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Side Kicks Mentoring Program: $10,000; $5,000
• Summer Reinforcement Program, Improved Reading Skills: $9,500; $7,300
• Wadsworth Salvation Army, Learning Zone: $10,000; $22,033
• Medina Salvation Army, Learning Zone: $10,000; $22,500
• Feeding Medina County, Weekenders: $20,000; $0
• Medina Community Police Activities League: $5,500; $0

Youth engagement: $253,700
• Rape Crisis Center, The Tina Project: $15,000; $0
• Wadsworth Salvation Army, Care Team: $10,000; $0
• Catholic Charities, School Based Counseling: $24,000; $0, but $84,000 was designated for older adult case management.
• Solutions Behavioral Health, School Based Counseling: $73,700; $0
• Alternative Paths, School Based Counseling: $76,000; $0
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Site Base Mentoring Program: $20,000; $0
• Catholic Charities, School Based Prevention Program: $8,000; $0
• United Way of Medina County, E4 Youth Summit: $27,000; $0

General funding: $86,750
• Society for Handicapped Citizens of Medina County, Camp Paradise: $4,000; $25,000
• Battered Women’s Shelter, Domestic Violence Intervention Program: $13,500; $44,000
• Rape Crisis Center, Intervention Services and 24 Hour Hotline: $4,500; $12,500
• Cathy’s House: $5,000; $9,000
• Children’s Center Medina County, Child Advocacy Center: $8,000; $0
• Feeding Medina County, Moving Food, Feeding People: $15,000; $0
• United Way of Medina County, 211 First Call for Help: $36,750; $36,750

Household sustainability: $300,000
• Community Action, Service Coordination: $35,000; $0
• Catholic Charities, Service Coordination: $35,000; $0
• Lodi Family Center, Service Coordination: $15,000; $0
• Community Legal Aid, Debt and Legal Assistance: $25,000; $0
• Lead Support Agencies, Top Five Needs: $140,000; $0
• United Way of Medina County, Employing Medina County: $50,000; $0

Other designations: $98,508
SOURCE: United Way of Medina County

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.