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Tracy Frank, Published June 22 2010

United Way of Cass-Clay announces funding for 66 programs

United Way of Cass-Clay is funding five new programs for 2011.

Two programs that previously received funding will not be funded for 2011 and 2012. They are Metro Youth Partnership’s MentorLink program and Mental Health America of North Dakota South Valley office.

Grant allocations of $2,681,410 will help fund 66 programs for 2011. That’s $14,641 more in allocations than provided this year. Those funds do not include donor-directed designations.

Of 42 programs providing prevention and development services that applied for a two-year grant, 39 will receive it. Twenty-seven programs providing basic needs will receive the second year of their two-year grants in 2011.

The five programs receiving UWCC funds for the first time are SouthEastern North Dakota Community Action Agency Youth Individual Development Accounts Program; ShareHouse Inc. Women’s Empowerment Program; The Village Family Service Center Truancy Intervention Program; Youthworks Street Outreach Program; and CCRI Inc. Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services.

Kelly Olson, The Village Family Service Center Truancy Intervention Program director, said the funding is huge because current funding is drying up and the program’s life is uncertain.

The program serves youth in Clay County public schools. Family advocates educate students and parents early on about truancy and what will happen if they don’t graduate from high school.

Out of 480 seniors, 165 worked with the program at some point. Of those, 113 graduated, Olson said.

Denise Leeby, ShareHouse Inc. program director, said she was blown away when she found out the Women’s Empowerment Program would receive funding.

The program uses a group setting to support and encourage women who have experienced interpersonal violence.

“I’m very excited that they will get this opportunity and that we can keep this program going and hopefully expand it,” Leeby said.

More than 90 volunteers spent the past six months evaluating agencies and programs seeking funding.

“Donors and volunteers ensure that gifts to United Way of Cass-Clay are invested into programs in Cass and Clay counties that create lasting change,” said Jeff Slaby, United Way of Cass-Clay Board of Trustees chairman in a news release.

UWCC is also investing in initiatives focused on early childhood education and development, graduation rates, leadership training, and nonprofit training and development.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526