Middlesex United Way partners power mission of improving quality of life

Middlesex United Way works in the areas of education, income, health and housing because we all need a quality education that leads to a stable job, enough income to support a family, good health, and a safe, adequate and affordable place to live.

Every day, our partners in education, income, health and housing amaze us with the incredible work they do to strengthen lives and improve community conditions here in Middlesex County. Today, I’d like to share with you the partners we trust the most to help make Middlesex County an outstanding place to live and work. We currently have 36 partners that operate 44 programs.

Middlesex United Way envisions a community where students succeed academically. Our goals for education are that children are ready to learn by school entry, children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade, and students who are exiting high school are college or career ready.

Our school readiness initiative is working with school systems, early child care providers, and parents throughout Middlesex County to identify and assist our youngest children who have social and emotional problems before they enter school. We support programs that assist young children become school ready and also educate their parents about the important role they play in their child’s earliest years.

We’re also supporting parent education and family literacy through programs like Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, a program that has individuals who help students find employment, get a promotion at work or earn their diploma.

 

We currently partner with the following organizations in the area of education: Clinton Board of Education, Cromwell Board of Education, East Haddam Youth & Family Services, East Hampton Board of Education, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, Middletown Adult Education Middlesex Hospital, Old Saybrook Youth & Family Services, Portland Youth Services, Regional School District 13 (Durham-Middlefield), Tri-Town Youth Services/Regional School District 4 (Chester, Deep River, Essex), Westbrook Public Schools, and Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth.

In the area of income, we work with partners who provide basic needs, including Amazing Grace Food Pantry and Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, as well as employment training supports and services. We envision a community where individuals and families are economically stable. Our partners provide individuals and families access to services and resources for their basic needs, learn skills to improve their economic situation and assist in finding meaningfully steady employment.

Our partners include John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency, Kuhn Employment Opportunities, Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, St. Vincent DePaul Middletown — Amazing Grace Food Distribution, and United Way 2-1-1.

In the area of health, Middlesex United Way envisions a community where individuals and families are healthy and safe, and youth and adults avoid risky behaviors. We partner with youth and family service organizations in Middlesex County to implement the Healthy Communities-Healthy Youth assets model in their towns. The approach increases young people’s participation in their local communities and has found to help reduce high-risk behaviors, especially the use of drugs and alcohol.

To reduce the rate of risky behaviors among youth and adults, we partner with: Boy Scouts, Clinton Youth & Family Services, Durham-Middlefield Youth & Family Services East Haddam Youth & Family Services, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Middlesex YMCA, Middletown Youth Services Bureau, Oddfellows Playhouse, Old Saybrook Youth & Family Services, Portland Youth Services, Rushford, Tri-Town Youth Services (Chester, Deep River, Essex), Westbrook Public Schools, and Youth & Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth.

We also partner to ensure residents have access to mental health services, counseling, substance abuse services, sexual assault crisis services, as well as programs that support adults with disabilities, and services to assist seniors so they may continue living at home.

To improve the health and increase the safety of individuals and families, we partner with: Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT-Child & Family Mental Health Services, The Connection, Inc., Gilead Community Services, MARC: Community Resources, Middlesex Hospital, Rushford, St. Luke’s Community Services, and Women & Families Center.

In the area of housing, we support our local emergency shelter and supportive housing program, as well as homelessness prevention and affordable housing efforts. Middlesex United Way works toward having a community where individuals and families have safe and affordable housing. We are actively involved in the Middlesex County Coalition on Housing & Homelessness, which is working to prevent and end homelessness, and we’re proud to support organizations like Middlesex Habitat for Humanity and The Connection’s Eddy Shelter.

Our partners include Columbus House, The Connection, Inc., HOPE Partnership, Middlesex County Coalition on Housing & Homelessness and Middlesex Habitat for Humanity of Connecticut.

We are proud to partner with so many wonderful programs that are making Middlesex County even greater. Thank you to all our partners, advocate, donors, and volunteers. If you, or someone you know, would like to learn more, please contact Ed Bonilla at 860-346-8695.

Kevin Wilhelm is executive director and CEO of the Middlesex United Way in Middletown.