Creative Services Statement

July 27, 2023, 

United Way of Marion County’s Board of Directors and executive leadership are entrusted with the stewardship of donated funds to improve the quality of life in Marion County through supporting the building blocks of life education, financial stability, and health. We conduct our mission through programs managed by United Way of Marion County and our funded partner agencies.

United Way of Marion County terminated our funding agreement with Creative Services, totaling $33,000 for shelter services and $15,000 for the crisis hotline. As a partner agency, we based this upon concerners by our volunteer oversite committees, legal inquiries by law enforcement, concerns expressed by victim advocates, certification oversite reports, and a personal site visit.  

United Way of Marion County has been working with local law enforcement and community leaders to expand domestic violence shelter and support services. United Way of Marion County has continued providing domestic violence funding and sheltering services in various locations. Haven of Lake and Sumter counties is currently covering the sexual assault services. If individuals are in a domestic violence situation, they should call the State of Florida hotline (800) 500-1119. The community has been working with Ms. Zuleika Gonzalez-Felton, Director of Domestic Violence Services, Office of Child and Family Well-Being Florida Department of Children and Families, to assess the needs of Marion County. United Way of Marion County recognizes the increasing demand for domestic violence services in Marion County. Marion County has a domestic violence rate of 1,015.9 offenses per 100,000 population and a rape rate 2.6 times the state average. Expanding domestic violence services is needed as our population grows and families face economic challenges, substance abuse, and mental health disorders.  

United Way of Marion County takes our stewardship responsibilities seriously, sometimes requiring decisions like this one. We are confident that the quality of services will improve as victims’ advocates, law enforcement, and the community collaborate with a common purpose to expand services in Marion County. 


Robert Haight 

President & CEO 

United Way of Marion County