A collection of direct service programs housed at United Way of Weld County, Connecting Weld is helping Weld County human services increase in visibility, accessibility, and capacity.
211 Colorado is a comprehensive information and referral service that connects users to an exhaustive listing of human service resources throughout Colorado. 211 for northeastern Colorado is provided by United Way of Weld County. It maintains an up-to-date database of human service agencies, programs and services in Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington, Weld and Yuma counties. 211 is available via phone call, text, live chat, web browser, and mobile phone app.
People seeking help access the 211 database online at www.unitedway-weld.org/211, by calling 211 or by texting their zip code to 898-211. Trained specialists assist individuals, families and service providers who are seeking answers regarding community services in times of need such as rent and utility assistance, help finding food resources, adult and child day care options and more.
211 Colorado at United Way of Weld County also facilitates communication amongst agencies to troubleshoot social and human service challenges in northeast Colorado, assists in emergency situations, works to alleviate stresses on emergency management during disasters and identifies areas of greatest need and unmet needs.
2020-2021 People Served by Area of Weld County
Flor is a single mother of 3 children who was laid off for several months due to COVID-19 and fell behind on her water payments. While Flor was able to return to her previous job where she had worked for 5 years before the pandemic, she was not able to put together the amount needed to pay the total past-due amount on her bill. 2-1-1 was able to help Flor apply for unemployment and TANF while also connecting her with a financial advisor to help her with budgeting moving forward. In addition, 2-1-1 was able to help Flor apply for the financial assistance she needed to pay her water bill.
Now known as Get Ahead Colorado and managed by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, the Piton Foundation has conducted the Tax Credits for Working Families Campaign for over 20 years. The primary goal is to increase the number of eligible families in Colorado receiving the EITC, as well as other tax credits aimed at helping lower income families. Research shows that the EITC lifts millions of families out of poverty each year. Additionally the EITC has been found to produce substantial increases in employment and reductions in welfare among single parents. Free tax preparation is also available to less affluent individuals and families.
211 Colorado has partnered on the EITC program for more than a decade. As tax season approaches, United Way of Weld County staff distribute EITC informational flyers at business and community presentations, 211 makes mention of the availability of the EITC when callers inquire about tax preparation, and 211 provides information and referral on free tax preparation sites for low to moderate income households and seniors. 211 tracks the number of calls during which it mentions the EITC and refers people to tax preparation resources. Based on this number of referrals, United Way receives reimbursement for its participation.
Residents in Greeley and Evans who are working toward self-sufficiency and financial stability and cannot afford transportation are able to receive bus passes for free from a variety of nonprofit agencies through a collaboration between the City of Greeley and United Way of Weld County. In the early 2000s, a more efficient and effective management system for bus passes that supported low-income riders was desired by the City of Greeley. At the same time, United Way was exploring ways to support increased financial stability for individuals and families.
Through this partnership, at the beginning of each year United Way receives bus passes from Greeley/Evans Transit (GET) and then distributes a beginning amount to participating agencies. Additional passes are provided either quarterly or as requested. The amount allocated is based on the prior year usage and efficiency in usage (passes given versus utilized). At the end of the year, GET and United Way determine the number of passes that will be made available for the following year.
Weld Project Connect (WPC) is a one-day event providing on-site health and human care services to adults and families who are in need due to household and financial insecurity, job loss, health problems and other critical life issues. While creating a welcoming environment providing actual services rather than just referrals or information, WPC hosts over 70 free services such as health screenings and medical services, immunizations, citizenship class registration, library card issuance, pet licensing, credit reports, job referrals, résumé writing assistance, podiatry services, legal counseling, documentation assistance, mental health counseling, veterans assistance, haircuts, food stamp enrollment, personal care, early child development insight and much more.
Services vary annually based on current trends, needs identified and new programmatic initiatives. By offering all of these services in one location, people can obtain assistance quickly, at no cost and with less stress than if visiting various offices separately. Plus, during the event many guests connect with longer term care and resourcing opportunities that for months afterwards help them address health and livelihood challenges.
2020-2021 People Served by Area of Weld County
A gentleman that had not seen a medical provider in 4 years was able to get lab work done and him scheduled into the clinic for which he was very thankful.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance helps donors make informed giving decisions and promotes high standards of conduct among organizations that solicit contributions from the public. It produces reports about national charities, evaluating them against comprehensive Standards for Charity Accountability. The overarching principles of these standards cover four essential areas that are necessary for determining trustworthiness: adequate board oversight, results that correspond with a charity’s mission, financial accountability, and transparent and accurate donor communications.
In 2014, a unique partnership between Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming and United Way of Weld County was established. It minimizes duplication of efforts by volunteers at United Way and creates efficiencies that ultimately benefit both donors and charitable organizations and the causes they support. As a result, nonprofits supported through United Way must meet BBB’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
Disaster preparedness and response has always been a function of United Way of Weld County and 2-1-1. Following September 11 and Hurricane Katrina, the United Way role in Weld County and other locales increased. When there is a disaster, 2-1-1 makes information including road closures, locations of temporary shelters, pre-evacuation areas, and much more readily available for both callers and website visitors. 2-1-1 also publishes a print and electronic guide with the most needed resources.
Additionally, United Way staff assume other disaster roles in the community including: staffing Emergency Operations Centers and Disaster Recovery Centers; coordinating in-kind donations; connecting volunteers with opportunities; accepting and facilitating the allocation of relief and recovery fund donations; facilitating the work of long-term recovery committees; and more. United Way staff attend the monthly meeting of Northeast Colorado disaster preparedness personnel, held at various locations throughout the region. Staff members also attend training drills held to prepare for disaster response. Additionally, United Way of Weld County has provided staff expertise to help with disaster response throughout Colorado and nationwide.
The NoCO AmeriCorps Project places AmeriCorps members, who arrive in Colorado from all over the United States, at mutually agreed upon host agencies where they work full-time for one year. Host agencies develop capacity building projects and provide supervision; organizations may receive an AmeriCorps member for up to three consecutive years.
United Way hosts a Project Coordinator and two AmeriCorps Leaders. These positions provide support to the AmeriCorps members and agency supervisors, and liaise with the state-wide AmeriCorps Office. AmeriCorps supports include skills training, housing, employment experience counselling, event passes, community building, and more.
AmeriCorps member host agencies have included: Alternative Homes for Youth, Arc of Weld County, Boy Scouts of America—Longs Peak Council, Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County, Connections for Independent Living, Greeley-Evans School District 6, Life Stories: Child and Family Advocacy, Northern Colorado Youth for Christ, Poudre Learning Center, Right to Read, RISE, Sunrise Community Health, and Youth & Family Connections, to name a few!
2020-2021 People Served by Area of Weld County
One of our participants has been serving with her organization for three years. She recently finished her final term with our program and was hired as a staff person at Habitat for Humanity. One of the great things about the AmeriCorps program is that it not only provides capacity building for anti-poverty projects, but also helps to develop a strong workforce for our community.
Volunteer Engagement at United Way of Weld County provides direct service to the Weld County community and creates a more connected, cohesive and supportive environment for all its citizens. Volunteer Engagement acts as a hub for connecting interested volunteers and companies by promoting meaningful opportunities via an electronic resource guide, a mobile phone app and an online registration and referral system. Volunteer Engagement also convenes conversations and holds trainings on nonprofit volunteer management capacity building.
Additionally, Volunteer Engagement oversees the United Way volunteer management system and recruits volunteers for a number of United Way programs, projects and events.
Volunteer Engagement also coordinates Day of Action, an annual one-day event for community members, businesses and families to volunteer and complete projects at local nonprofit organizations. Annually over 200 people participate with Day of Action.
Weld Together provides a variety of resources designed to help nonprofits do the best job they can for those they serve.
Case Manager Trainings. While many of the case managers on staff at Weld County agencies have a formal degree in the field, others do not and can use additional training. Plus, every employee that works directly with people needs an occasional refresher course.
Nonprofit Capacity Building Trainings. Nonprofits can achieve excellence in governance, administration and fundraising.
www.unitedway-weld.org/weldtogether. At a dedicated page on the United Way website, Weld Together offers:
• community events calendar
• job board
• resource sharing board
E-newsletters. Provided once per month, these concise offerings provide readings of interest and links to upcoming events and other resources.