Northeast Ohio is no stranger to the harsh cold of mid-winter. But for the many Summit and Medina County residents struggling with homelessness and housing insecurity, January and February are some of the toughest and most dangerous times of the year.
United Way of Summit & Medina is dedicated to ensuring local residents have a roof over their heads and a place to call home. Thanks to generous donors and recent pandemic relief funds, United Way’s Housing Services has been able to expand its footprint in the community.
United Way case managers work directly with individuals, families, landlords and local service agencies to prevent evictions through rent assistance or secure housing for those experiencing homelessness. The increased program capacity has allowed United Way to expand its outreach efforts. Case managers can meet directly with people out in the community or in encampments, so that anyone who is looking for help can find it
From November 2020 to October 2021, United Way case managers provided personalized assistance to 907 households in our area – representing nearly 1,500 people – in order to prevent homelessness or secure permanent supportive housing. In 2021, United Way prevented 169 local evictions.
Going forward, United Way is continuing to integrate housing assistance into wraparound programs within local neighborhoods. A partnership with Project Rise is connecting students who are experiencing homelessness to much-needed help through United Way’s Family Resource Centers (FRC) within Akron Public Schools. Students and their families who meet with a family resource coordinator are referred directly to a case manager who will help them overcome or avoid homelessness.