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Budget Approved for Education, Income, Health

The United Way of Tarrant County Board of Directors has approved a $32,081,992 budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year for United Way’s work in the areas of education, income and health. About 64 percent of the budget is based on United Way campaign contributions, and about 35 percent is grant revenue.  Fund Distribution Chart

United Way of Tarrant County will devote $5,262,025 to the fifth year of its Learn Well, Earn Well and Live Well initiatives that are improving the education, financial stability, and healthy aging and independent living of Tarrant County residents. Dozens of organizations are involved in the multi-year initiatives, including social service agencies, school districts, universities, government entities and businesses.

Learn Well ($1,948,458 budgeted for 2014-15) is a 10-year education initiative to enable 8,000 at-risk students to graduate from high school on time by 2020. Working mainly with the Fort Worth, Arlington, Birdville and Crowley Independent School Districts, United Way is laying the groundwork for graduation by helping preschoolers to prepare for kindergarten, elementary students to read at the appropriate grade level, at-risk middle schoolers to develop their path to college or a career and ninth graders and their families to remain on track for graduation.

The ninth grade component is new this year and will be implemented at a ninth grade center in the Crowley ISD and a high school in the Fort Worth ISD. Mentoring, tutoring and opportunities for parent involvement will be part of the strategies used to ensure on-time graduation.

Earn Well ($1,824,280 budgeted for 2014-15) is an initiative to enable 24,000 low-income working families to be on the path to financial stability by helping them increase their income and manage their money more effectively. Adult literacy classes, financial education and coaching, and career training are key components, along with free tax preparation centers that help families get the most from their tax returns. Over the last four years, families that used United Way-funded centers received more than $30.5 million in refunds, including about $11.9 million in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds.

Primary partners in the initiative in 2014 are Catholic Charities, City of Fort Worth, Family Pathfinders, Foundation Communities, Tarrant County College, The Women’s Center and YWCA of Fort Worth & Tarrant County. The City of Arlington will work closely with Foundation Communities to support the tax preparation centers.

The City of Fort Worth is a new Earn Well partner this year and will operate VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) centers in Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County. A new component to United Way’s financial stability initiative this year will be “lending circles” through which low-income individuals will pool their money to provide themselves with small, interest-free loans. Lending circles help low-income people increase their credit scores, which is important because low credit scores affect a person’s ability to obtain insurance, rent an apartment and even get a good-paying job. Catholic Charities and the YWCA of Fort Worth & Tarrant County will receive funding to operate a total of 8 lending circles serving 8 to 10 people each.

Financial support from the Siemer Institute for Family Stability will enable United Way to provide high-demand job skill training, along with financial education and coaching, to low-income working families of children in United Way’s education initiative. The children will benefit because increasing family stability improves children’s academic achievement.

Live Well ($1,489,287 budgeted for 2014-15) is an initiative to enable 17,000 adults over age 35 who have chronic disabling conditions to be healthy at home, thereby preventing nursing home admissions and reducing preventable hospitalizations. Among other services, family caregivers receive training on how to care for loved ones—and themselves. People are taught how to manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of complications. The Alzheimer’s Association, Easter Seals, Meals On Wheels, North Texas Area Community Health Centers, Senior Citizen Services and the University of North Texas Health Science Center are United Way’s main partners in this work in 2014.

$11,575,229 will go to the traditional United Way partner agencies that are familiar to supporters of the United Way campaign. Within that amount is:
•    $2,056,385 for work that is part of United Way’s Learn Well, Earn Well and Live Well initiatives. This is 38 percent of the dollars United Way has earmarked for the initiatives.
•    $3,243,425 in contributions designated to the organizations by donors.
•    $2,857,680 for 58 community programs that reinforce the health and human service system in Tarrant County.
•    $2,558,890 allocated through United Way’s Area Agency on Aging for services for older adults, people with disabilities and their caregivers.

Some of United Way’s traditional partner agencies also will receive $741,000 for homelessness services. That amount is part of the 2014-2015 budget’s $2,624,020 earmarked for homelessness services, which includes funds from the City of Fort Worth and State of Texas that United Way has been asked to administer locally.

$2,479,114 will be allotted for community services provided by United Way. These include:
•    2-1-1 Texas, a free information and referral service that links callers to human services by dialing 2-1-1.
•    Community investment services such as evaluation of local human service needs, developing strategic plans to address them, public policy advocacy and community education.
•    Recruiting and placing people in volunteer positions related to United Way’s initiatives.
•    Training for AFL-CIO union counselors to provide information and refer people to appropriate human service agencies.

At the direction of investors, $4,057,914 will go to other United Ways and community agencies. Included in this amount is $95,658 in designations to the United Way Women’s Fund, which provides grants for services, programs and projects that benefit women and girls.

$423,384 of the budget is United Way Veterans Fund money for services for returning veterans. The fund was established in 2013 with $275,000 from Lockheed Martin and $25,000 from Bell Helicopter Textron, who this year have donated $300,000 and $25,000, respectively.

$3,577,825 is budgeted for fundraising and administration expenses, a budgeted overhead of 11.51 percent. $938,147 is allotted for anticipated uncollectible pledges.