Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County’s Housing Matters Team Held a Housing Connections Day on Thursday July 11, 2019 at the Forsyth County Public Library

WINSTON-SALEM, NC —For immediate Release- July 16, 2019 –  United Way of Forsyth County’s Housing Matters team held a Housing Connections Day on Thursday July 11, 2019 at the Forsyth County Public Library. As a part of United Way’s Housing Matters initiative, this event was created to connect clients who are enrolled in housing programs with affordable housing units available in the community.

Almost 80 people participated in the event; over 50 people took tours of available properties and over 25 applications for units were received. Some of the units were pre-inspected and all were with properties that were willing to accept rapid re-housing and/or Permanent Supportive Housing tenants.

Andrea Kurtz noted, “We were very excited to speed up the process of getting the applications completed, and do real time check requests for the application fees and be able to hand deliver the checks to the property managers all within the same day.  We wouldn’t have been able to complete this major undertaking without the support of all of the homeless service providers within the Winston Salem Continuum of Care “.

Food and beverages were provided by Krispy Kreme, Intown Donutz , Starbuck and Providence Kitchen.

Lou Baldwin of Baldwin Properties spoke about what makes a great landlord / tenant relationship. Kurtz said, “Lou Baldwin and Baldwin Properties have been one of our most loyal supporters and we can’t thank them enough for their participation in this event and their support of the HEARRT project.”

United Way of Forsyth County President and CEO Cindy Gordineer notes, “This was a truly exciting and pivotal event for our community and for those individuals seeking housing. The collaboration built on the strength of each of our partners and local businesses to work together for the common good of Forsyth County and its residents.”

For more information about the United Way, visit www.forsythunitedway.org

    

l-r Attendees at event, Andrea Kurtz speaks to the crowd, Lou Baldwin of Baldwin Properties

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County Announces Day of Action June 21, 2019

WINSTON-SALEM, NC —United Way of Forsyth County Invites the Community to Join in the Day of Action June 21, 2019.

On and around June 21 each year, tens of thousands of people across the globe volunteer to fight for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. United Way’s Day of Action provides opportunities for volunteers, donors and advocates to be part of solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives.

On Friday June 21, from 9am- 3pm, United Way of Forsyth County will work to assist seniors in the Place Matters Neighborhoods with home repairs and landscaping.

Community Engagement Manager Tahja Gaymon notes, “United Way of Forsyth County recognizes there are seniors in our community who do not have the financial means to make the necessary repairs or upkeep for their homes. For this reason, we are organizing volunteers throughout the community who will come together to do home repairs, painting and landscaping for seniors in our Place Matters community. “

Please contact Tahja Gaymon at Tahja.gaymon@uwforsyth.org for more information. To volunteer : https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0a45a8a72fa6ff2-united

For more information about the United Way, visit www.forsythunitedway.org

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United Way of Forsyth County brings the community and its resources together to solve problems that no one organization can address alone.

All the people of Winston-Salem deserve council members who live in their neighborhoods, understand their concerns and feel the same effects of city zoning and spending choices. Only district elections ensure the people are represented by individuals from their own communities. As the United Way of Forsyth County has long affirmed: place matters.

Sen. Paul Lowe weighs in on House Bill 519.

 

https://www.journalnow.com/opinion/columnists/n-c-sen-paul-lowe-house-bill-is-not-the/article_1f6e1a75-811d-5e3d-95e5-2b9a8db67026.html

Blog: What is Place Matters?

What Is Place Matters?

Simply put, Place Matters is about doing with, and not for – and at United Way we think that makes all the difference.

The opportunity for a good life begins in our families, our schools, and our jobs. And it begins in our neighborhoods. Place, or where we live, matters. And it’s no different here in Winston-Salem & Forsyth County.

Because we believe our entire community is better off when all its neighborhoods are healthy and thriving, United Way launched Place Matters – a new, innovative strategy guided by local residents that invests in programs to help strengthen neighborhoods.

What makes Place Matters different?

  • It is resident-led and inspired. At United Way, we want residents – the people who know their neighborhoods the best – to make decisions on what’s needed. It seems obvious, but it doesn’t always happen.
  • It is asset-based – we are building upon the gifts, skills, and talents of residents to strengthen their neighborhoods.
  • Collaboration. At United Way, we are able to convene community stakeholders – residents, nonprofit organizations, the faith-based community, and business and education leaders –in an inclusive approach focused on sustainable change in the buildings block of a good life: Education, Financial Stability, and Health. By working together, we can all achieve greater results.

Engaging the Community

Through our key partnership with Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, we are engaging residents to ensure investments align with the priorities of those who live in and experience their neighborhoods every day.

In Place Matters, a group of residents from 13 neighborhoods in northeast Winston-Salem have joined together to make the place they live stronger. This Resident Impact Council identifies guiding priorities for funding, recommends programs to receive funds, and then evaluates whether those programs are working successfully. The Resident Impact Council have even given their 13 neighborhoods a collective name: CiVIC = Community Voices Impacting the Community (see map).

 

The Resident Impact Council identified the following “Guiding Priorities” as issues they would like to see improved in their community through United Way’s Place Matters investments.

Unemployment and Underemployment

  • Job placement
  • Skill development
  • School successMultigenerational Support
  • Seniors
  • Teens and young adults
  • ChildrenHealthy Living
  • Access to fresh and healthy food
  • Increase physical activity levels
  • Preventative healthcareHousing Stock and Vacant Lot
  • Improve existing housing stock
  • Increase utilization and repurpose of vacant lotsInvesting in Change
  • In 2016/17, United Way of Forsyth County is investing about $2.7 Million in programs focused on those Guiding Priorities and strengthening the CiVIC neighborhoods. We know change will not happen overnight. United Way is committed to Place Matters, the CiVIC neighborhoods, and the people who live there for the long-term

Click here to learn more about programs funded through Place Matters !

We Believe Place Matters

The opportunity for a good life starts with our families, schools, and jobs; and it begins in our neighborhoods. We believe that place, or where we live, matters. Whatever country, state, city, or neighborhood we live in, each area presents us with a set of unique opportunities and challenges in our lives.

Over the years, United Way’s strategic partnerships and investments in solutions that address our community’s most pressing issues, have positively influenced the areas of Education, Financial Stability, Health and Basic Needs. However, not every neighborhood in Winston-Salem has always benefited from this success. In fact, from 2000 through 2010 poverty grew by more than 70% in Winston-Salem.

Furthermore, poverty is becoming increasingly concentrated within certain neighborhoods creating even more complex challenges. This negatively affects the whole community. The truth is that our entire community can only be successful when each of its neighborhoods is healthy and thriving.

Through a new initiative called Place Matters, United Way of Forsyth County is working collaboratively with a local grassroots community organizing agency, Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, and residents in thirteen neighborhoods in the northeast part of Winston-Salem to strengthen these areas. The work that is taking place in the area is called CiVIC, which stands for Community Voices Impacting Community, and is based on the principle of resident ownership of the process and outcomes.

The thirteen neighborhoods consist of a mix of priority areas (Ladera Crest, Bowen Park and Dreamland), along with more stable and established areas. In all cases, the neighborhoods have significant assets upon which to build. We are using an Asset-Based Community Development model (ABCD) which identifies all of a community’s existing assets – residents and their gifts, skills, and talents; formal and informal associations; the area’s history; and physical or natural spaces – and leverages them to build a stronger and healthier community. We are doing this “with” rather than“for” residents.

CiVIC is a fitting name for this area and for this work because resident leadership and ownership is the lifeblood of the Place Matters initiative. We understand that no one knows a neighborhood better than the residents who live there. That is why we are engaging with residents in order to better understand all of the existing assets, presenting challenges, and most importantly, the residents’ vision for their neighborhoods.

United Way will be working in new ways by creating relationships with new collaborative partners, while also maintaining opportunities for Partner Agencies to collaborate in this work. We believe that our Partners’ expertise and capacity in conjunction with the knowledge and experience of residents and grassroots organizations will allow for greater creativity and, consequently, longer lasting and more impactful results. We are committed to supporting work that makes a positive impact in these neighborhoods.

We are excited by the prospects that Place Matters offers, and there will be a number of activities and opportunities to support this work in the coming months. Residents of CiVIC neighborhoods have already begun participating on an Impact Council and have been hard at work shaping the priorities and desired outcomes of this work. They have been meeting at “Neighbor Nights” to discuss common interests and issues and strengthening personal relationships. In the coming months, we will be hosting “Network Nights” where anyone, not just CiVIC residents, is invited to meet and share their gifts, skills and talents to help address neighborhood issues. We will also host “Community Conversations” that will provide opportunities to foster relationships amongst local residents, grassroots or faith-based organizations, businesses, and nonprofits with the goal of deepening conversations around community challenges and creative solutions.

Please be on the lookout for invitations to some of these exciting opportunities. We encourage you to get involved and look forward to seeing you there. In the meantime, if you would like more information or have any questions about Place Matters and CiVIC, please contact Alana James at alana.james@uwforsyth.org or Bret Marchant at bret.marchant@uwforsyth.org.

Written by: Alana James
Director, Community Based Collaborations