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United Way Dollars Leverage More Funds to Help Veterans

United Way funding for Recovery Resource Council programs supporting veterans and their families has led to $180,000 in additional funding from other organizations.

Last year United Way awarded a $79,750 grant from its Tarrant County Veterans Fund to help establish Enduring Women, a Recovery Resource Council program that fosters mental health for returning women veterans and their dependents. The program assists the women in integrating back into their families and communities by helping them with everything from sexual trauma and addiction to parenting skills. Another $52,500 in community program funding from United Way went to the Council’s Enduring Families program, which also provides counseling and support services for returning veterans and their family members to help reconnect and improve quality of life.

United Way’s support and the Council’s successful results have now led to a grant of $150,000 from Wounded Warrior Project and $30,000 from the Rees-Jones Foundation, according to Resource Recovery Council CEO Eric Niedermayer. “It’s all because in July 2013 the United Way volunteer team and staff gave us a chance and invested in the Recovery Resource Council’s ideas and evaluation plans for a new veteran behavioral health program,” he said. “Those funds created new opportunities and allowed us to seek funding and increase the revenues devoted to serving this important group of men and women. Since August 2013, 91 Veterans and 50 of their family members have received highly specialized and intensive support and cognitive therapy for PTSD and other issues related to stress and trauma.”

United Way of Tarrant County has allocated $42,790 in community program funding for Enduring Families this year, plus a $96,649 grant for Enduring Women from the Veterans Fund. The Veterans Fund was established by United Way last year largely with a corporate contribution from Lockheed Martin, along with a gift from Bell Helicopter.

As illustrated by the Enduring Women and Enduring Families programs, United Way’s investments in local nonprofits help those organizations leverage additional dollars from other sources that further benefit the community. This practice of leveraging is an important strategy that United Way and its partners use to bring additional resources to Tarrant County.

For example, the success of United Way’s Reading Ready program for struggling elementary school readers enabled Fort Worth ISD to leverage $125,000 from the Target Foundation last year and $150,000 this year to expand the program to 14 more Fort Worth elementary schools.

Similarly, United Way brought the A Matter of Balance falls prevention program to Tarrant County, helping hundreds of older adults avoid injury and costly hospitalization caused by falls. The program’s local success inspired Tarrant County Public Health to obtain Medicaid funding this year to offer falls prevention classes for more people in new locations.