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Community Strengthening





We believe McLean County is strongest when each person feels safe, secure and connected to our community. Together with our partners, our goal is to provide urgent and basic human care services, including helping people in dire economic and health situations by connecting them to community services that help them get back on their feet. This means engaging and connecting people to the community and stabilizing those in crisis with emergency food, safe shelter and housing services.

The Challenge

  • At nearly 15 percent, the poverty rate in McLean County is the highest it has been in at least 10 years.
  • In adults, poverty has been found to increase one’s likelihood of experiencing a mental illness, most commonly depression, anxiety disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder. These illnesses subsequently make getting out of poverty more difficult.
  • The Home Sweet Home soup kitchen served 131,981 meals in 2012, and regularly serves more than 100,000 meals annually.

Our Response

We recognize that programs and services focused on crisis needs and community engagement must be addressed through a coordinated system of resources, in order for people to reach stability and develop deeper ties to their community.

  • In times of crisis individuals and families have immediate access to food, shelter and safety.
  • Individuals and families are safe in their living arrangements, neighborhoods and community as a whole.
  • Individuals and families are engaged with and connected to the community.

These outcomes and key indicators are used to evaluate the effectiveness of direct service programs and collective impact initiatives funded under the community strengthening area.

2017 Funded Programs

Comprehensive Emergency Assistance - Salvation Army - $11,880

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) - Child Protection Network - $14,850

Emergency Services - American Red Cross of the Heartland - $8,969

Family Domestic Abuse Intervention - Prairie State Legal Services - $35,640

Home Care Services - YWCA of McLean County - $26,730

Host Homes Shelter - Project Oz - $14,850

Neville House/Legal Advocacy Program - Mid Central Community Action - $30,150

Peace Meal McLean County - Sarah Bush Hospital - $38,610

RSVP: Retired & Senior Volunteer Program - YWCA McLean County - $11,880

Rural Transportation - Show Bus - $6,534

Safe Harbor Shelter - Salvation Army - $41,580

Teen CLUB – Boys & Girls Club, LINC - $41,580