The Strong Families Initiative is a financial stability effort that helps families get out of poverty and enhance their housing opportunities through skill building, case management, and mentoring.
According to the 2017 A.L.I.C.E. (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) report 47 percent of Marion County families struggle to meet their financial needs. To address this, United Way of Marion County has launched the Strong Families Initiative.
The goal of the Strong Families program is to increase financial stability for participating families. This program will serve 80-90 adults and children each year. Strong Families is a unique initiative that leverages our relationships with more than 10 non-profit partners, in collaboration with employers, local colleges, financial institutions and agencies. Strong Families provides families with comprehensive resources, wraparound support and the services they need to reach real and lasting financial stability. The initiative helps families build stronger financial futures by acquiring skills and education, obtaining better jobs and developing good financial habits.
Hear more from the participants of Strong Families by viewing our promtional video.
To help identify families to participate, United Way is partnering with Creative Services, Community Action, Habitat for Humanity, Interfaith, Kids Central, Inc, Marion County Community Services, Ocala Housing Authority, Shepherd's LightHouse, The Salvation Army and Volunteers of America.
Through this initiative, United Way of Marion County will be partnering with local agencies and serving identified families who can benefit from this effort to increase their financial stability.
Some of the major components of the initiative are:
- Skill Building - 16 weeks of skill building sessions (2 cycles per year).
- Case Management - A case manager will meet with families bi-weekly
- Mentoring - An opportunity to help guide a Strong Families Participant on their goals after they have completed the skill building sessions. Mentors meet with the Participant one time per month, for six to twelve months.
The goals of this case management will include:
- Providing resources for each family's needs.
- Ensuring all families are attending the skill building sessions.
- Tracking the family’s progress toward their goals.
Strong Families Initiative will track data such as:
- Goals for the family - each family will establish and identify reasonable goals to meet.
- Monitor progress towards those goals.
- Current level of public assistance that the family is receiving.
- Referrals to other social services.
For more information on this program, contact the United Way at 352-732-9696.