JANESVILLE

The YWCA Rock County and the Boys & Girls Club of Janesville are recipients of sizable grants from the United Way Blackhawk Region.

YWCA Rock County received a $462,526 two-year grant, and the Boys & Girls Club received a grant for $215,000 from the local chapter of the United Way, according to press releases.

“The ongoing support from United Way Blackhawk Region helps advance YWCA Rock County’s mission, which is dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women,” YWCA Rock County Executive Director Angela Moore said in a statement.

The grant to the YWCA will help fund all of YWCA Rock County’s programs for the next two years.

“That includes helping staff the 24-hour help line, providing funding for a child/family advocate to help young victims who utilize our CARE House, as well as funding to continue the Racial Justice program and its initiatives,” Moore said.

The YWCA has six programs that will share the grant money to be spread out over this year and next year. The Alternative to Violence Program will receive $140,110, the CARE House can expect $140,000, the Immigrant Outreach Program will get $72,114, the Racial Justice Program will be awarded $60,000, the Transitions Program will see $40,000 and the child care program will get $10,302 in that time.

The immigrant outreach program helps members of the local immigrant community navigate resources.

“During the pandemic, (immigrants) had new challenges and often they aren’t eligible for benefits,” Moore told The Gazette. “We are helping them so that they can maintain their families and also (stay) at their jobs.”

The Immigrant Outreach and Racial Justice programs help families with language barriers and issues with employment and citizenship and prevents domestic violence.

The child care program, which is both state-certified and licensed, serves 700 children each year by operating before- and after-school hours and on nonschool days. YWCA offers pre-K classes and a summer discovery camp, as well.

“We help serve working families because without the children being in the before- and after-school program, many people couldn’t work,” Moore said. “We always come up with creative programming so that families can work and have safe and affordable child care for their children.”

The Alternatives to Violence program is a 33-bed shelter that offers a safe space to anyone in crisis. The shelter residents are provided basic necessities, legal advocacy, case management and recovery resources. The program also offers a 24-hour help line staffed year-round.

The Transitions program is where domestic violence survivors receive a place to stay for an extended period of time. “(Victims) can stay in the apartments we own for 12 to 18 months as we provide intensive case management for them,” Moore said.

The CARE House is Rock County’s only child advocacy center. The program helps provide a safe place for abused children to be interviewed by law enforcement and other agencies. The interviews are then used in court.

“The interview is used as forensic interview evidence at the courthouse for their case,” Moore said. “Then hopefully they won’t have to face their perpetrator in court.”

Boys & Girls Club of Janesville

The Boys & Girls Club of Janesville has also received a two-year grant from the United Way Blackhawk Region to help run its programs.

The club has services for children age 6 to 18. The Be Great Graduate Program at Franklin Middle School and Parker High School is just one of the teen services available. The grant will help at-risk kids stay on track to graduate.

“Youth who were already struggling with math and reading are getting even further behind due to the pandemic,” club CEO Rebecca Veium said in a news release. “We also are concerned about the increasing mental health needs of youth in our community.”

“We are just one of many organizations that depend on funding from the United Way Blackhawk Region,” Veium said. “We thank the UWBR board, staff and many volunteers for investing in the community.

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