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Sep 17, 2019

DC Homeless appreciate Comfort Items from Shelter Hotline

The United Planning Organization (UPO) was presented the Award for Excellence in Community Action at the Community Action Partnership’s 2018 National Convention. The award’s peer-reviewed standards are modeled on the principles of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, which is designed to improve organizations’ competitiveness and performance. In the 15-year history of the Award for Excellence, only 12 agencies (out of a possible 1200) have achieved this standard.

When we feel our best, we can do and be our best. UPO’s Shelter Hotline team connects with homeless DC residents transporting them to shelter and providing them with comfort items and support they need. No one should be forced to live out on the street, especially during extreme weather conditions. As DC’s one and only provider of transportation services for the homeless, Shelter Hotline helps bring people without a place to live to local shelters—no matter the time of year. We also provide those in need with clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and other items that can help them feel a bit more comfortable. Concerned community members are encouraged to look out for homeless individuals and families in their neighborhood and call to have them transported to the comfort and care of a nearby facility. Shelter Hotline services are available every day of the year in Washington DC at 800-535-7252 or 202-399-7093.

UPO’s Shelter Hotline program is funded through grant funds provided by the DC Department of Human Services. The Comfort items we provided for our homeless customers are funded by your generous donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC Homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

Our challenge has always been how do we make a budget pay for the comfort items needed. During the past several months we have been encouraging our donors to please consider a monthly recurring donation to provide a continuous flow of funds for all of the things we want to do for our Homeless customers? An inflow of recurring donations will help UPO set a budget for purchasing the comfort items we distribute to the Homeless and plan better for future needs. We have seen a small increase in recurring donations but we need more support!

Global Giving 100% MATCHING CAMPAIGN on new monthly donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless will be continuing to run until December 31, 2019. They will match your first month's gift 100% to jump start your impact. Please consider committing $5, $10, $25 or even $50 monthly in support of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

Receiving more monthly support will enable us to spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on the work of love we do to taking care of our customers’ needs.

See the attached Report of Comfort Items distributed to Homeless Customers by Shelter Hotline in FY 18.


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Jul 18, 2019

Foster grandparents volunteer and share their love

As we reported three months ago the Project Director of United Planning Organization’s nationally recognized Foster Grandparent Program was contacted by VOA Eurasia Division Voice of America to do a story on UPO’s Foster Grandparent Program for airing in Europe and Asia. The piece focuses on our work at DCPS and Eagle Academy.The video follows the Grandparents in the course of a day.

UPO is pleased to show the partnerships of community, schools and volunteers in shaping the educational experiences of children in the hardest to serve areas. We are putting a positive face on the African-American community in countries that don’t often get positive imagery of our experience in America.  Additionally the children featured will forever see themselves a part of a global community and international ambassadors – what a difference will it make in their young lives. The video is now currently being shown in Russian, Ukrainian and English.

Dear supporters of UPO’s Foster Grandparent Program we are so proud of our  200 low-income Washington DC senior volunteer Foster Grandparents who daily, weekly and monthly, provide critical mentoring and emotional support to District children in a variety of local settings. The program operates at 60 locations in the District of Columbia and includes early education centers, public and charter schools, before and after-school programs, youth programs and hospitals. Annually they put in more than 180,000 volunteer service hours – working one-on-one or in small groups mentoring more than 15,000 DC children.

When CBS recently began a series of stories on “A More Perfect Union,” the network was eager to shine a light on the love and learning at the heart of UPO’s Foster Grandparent Program. See the attached video clearly illustrating how our Foster Grandparent volunteers share their love working with the children in the classrooms.

You have all been generous donors, your funding helps us to cover the cost of training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel for our senior FGP volunteers enabling us to support them in their generous labor of love. In addition we have a waiting list of 100 seniors volunteering to be Foster Grandparents, 10 educational institutions are seeking to join the program and every current partnering volunteer site is requesting additional Foster Grandparents.

The timing could not be more perfect;                                          

GlobalGiving has announced one of its biggest Bonus Days ever  Thursday July 18, 2019 from 09:00:00 ET to 23:59:59 ET                with $250,000 in matching funds available during the campaign:

Donations of $100 - $499 will be matched at 15%                                   

Donations of $500 - $749 USD will be matched at 30%                       

Donations of $750 - $1,000 USD will be matched at 50%                  

A perfect opportunity to secure much needed funding to take UPO’s Foster Grandparents Program to the next level! Thank you for your continued generous support.

Links:

Jun 25, 2019

DC Homeless count down 12.74% in past 2 years!

The 2019 Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Washington DC, see report attached, shows a drop in the number of homeless in DC to 6,521 persons. This is a drop of 12.74% compared to the PIT count of 7,473 persons in 2017. This encouraging progress in our fight to eliminate homelessness is a reflection of the effort on the part of the DC government and several private agencies, including UPO, to deal effectively with the plight of the city’s homeless population and work on providing low-income housing to get the homeless population off the streets and homeless shelters into permanent housing.

United Planning Organization’s Shelter Hotline represents the entry point, assisting homeless folks off the street, transporting them to homeless shelters and providing them with comfort items. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Winter and summer our vans are seen throughout DC distributing food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your generous donations, in support of the homeless. During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day transporting homeless individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers. UPO Shelter Hotline save lives! Shelter Hotline Statistics during the past year:

  • 5,478 customers transported
  • 53,905 comfort items distributed
  • 63,997 phone calls received and processed
  • 186,416 trips provided to homeless customers
  • 397,544 shelter nights utilized by homeless customers

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

Our challenge is how do we make a budget pay for all of the things we want to do for our Homeless customers? A monthly giving subscription can really take your impact to the next level. A recurring donation will help UPO set a budget for purchasing the comfort items we distribute to the Homeless and plan better for future needs.

GlobalGiving has recently announced a 100% MATCHING CAMPAIGN on new monthly donations to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless. They will match your first month's gift 100% to jump start your impact. Please consider committing $5, $10, $25 or even $50 monthly in support of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless.

Receiving more monthly support will enable us to spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on the work of love we do to taking care of our customers’ needs.

Links:


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