One county is taking the day-to-day politics out of social services by handing the reins over to the United Way.
No more tears, no more black eyes, but a smile now lightens Charlotte Vadais’s face. The Taylor County resident says she hopes the place that saved her life three years ago will get the financial support to do the same for others.
"The Refuge House took me and my children in when we needed the help. We were in an abusive family at the time and did not have anywhere else to go. They helped me out with counseling for myself and my children, getting us to where we needed to be in our life,” says Charlotte Vadnais/Domestic Abuse Survivor.
The Refuge House is one of several non-profit groups that now have to go through the United Way for county funds.
The Taylor County Commission decided to give one lump sum to the United Way for it to distribute money, instead of giving individual donations to the organizations.
"It costs us about $200,000 to be operational. That's a minimal amount of money that we're asking the county for $15,000,” said Debra McGrew, Program Director, Refuge House of Perry/Madison.
The county budgeted $85,000 for donations for the next fiscal year. Requests are $223,000, almost double the current year's disbursements.
Vadnais says she's a witness that it's not just about money and politics, but about changing and saving lives. The county's allotted funds will be disbursed separately from regular United Way funds.