A Place of Provision

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OUR MISSION. OUR VISION.

As our inaugural Racine project, Giving to the Nations is establishing a Community Outreach Center – A Place of Provision –within the Greater Uptown Area. The City of Racine has identified the Greater Uptown Area as a distressed neighborhood containing a high percentage of low- and moderate-income residents. Statistics show the percentage of low- or moderate-income residents in Racine County is 36.6%; the percentage of low- or moderate-income persons in the Greater Uptown Area ranges from 56.62% to 77.49%.[1]

Understanding the challenges of our area’s residents and Giving to the Nations’ mission “to advance the lives of others” we have many programs slated to help them excel at A Place of Provision.

    • Adult Basic Education and English Language Learners (ELL) Classes in collaboration with the Racine Literacy Council. The level of education as identified within the Greater Uptown Area is disheartening; “34% of adult residents reported having a high school diploma or equivalent, and 14% hold professional certificates, associates, bachelors or other graduate degrees.”[1]
    • Accessible Library Materials in collaboration with the Racine County Library to facilitate a “library corner.” Statistically two thirds of students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare. Students who don’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times likelier to drop out of school.[2] Our goal is to help foster a love of reading.
    • Legal Services in collaboration with Michelson Law Office. Assisting people who truly need help dealing with their financial obligations and obtaining a Fresh Start. Free consultations to receive correct information and make intelligent financial decisions. Additionally, budget appropriate payment plans. “In 2017, low-income Americans will approach LSC (Legal Services Corporation)-funded legal aid organizations for support with an estimated 1.7 million problems. They will receive only limited or no legal help for more than half of these problems because of a lack of resources.”[3]
    • Dental Services in collaboration with iDental Racine and Familia Dental to offer our neighbors oral hygiene education along with the introduction of dental providers who accept various State Insurances and offer affordable payment options. “Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help you keep your teeth as you get older. Researchers are also discovering new reasons to brush and floss. A healthy mouth may help you ward off medical disorders. The flip side? An unhealthy mouth, especially if you have gum disease, may increase your risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.”[4]
    • Basic nutrition and food preparation classes in collaboration with UW Extension FoodWIse EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program). Making a difference – “I value this program because it is helping me become more aware of what I am putting in my body and some of the negative effects. I appreciate the teacher making it an enjoyable experience.’[5]
    • Healthy Essentials Pantry; supplementing family’s needs. What will be available?
      • Fresh Foods, Dairy, Eggs, Meats. The City of Racine in its Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area – Greater Uptown Area: 2017-2019 report states: “Residents in the Greater Uptown Area lack access to fresh fruits, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. According to the USDA designation, the Greater Uptown Area is considered a food desert.”1 Our part? Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, various types of meats and poultry, only. Why? Our neighbor food pantries provide an emergency food supply following the USDA MyPlate.gov guidelines for nutrition. The fruits and vegetables provided could be fresh, usually canned; the protein provided is typically in the form of frozen ground beef, chicken, turkey, or canned tuna or chicken. Dairy products and eggs are not provided.
      • Personal Care and Household Cleaning Products. “The In Short Supply: American Families Struggle to Secure Everyday Essentials research project found that many American families struggle to afford basic non-food household goods . . . as a result, make trade-offs with other living expenses and employ coping strategies to secure essential household goods.”[6]
    • Resource Referral Hub. Connecting our community outreach center’s neighbors with other community resources to help them excel.

In addition to the many programs slated within our community outreach center, our outreach will extend to serve all of Racine County east of I-94 with our Mobile Healthy Essentials Pantry. Our mobile healthy essentials pantry will minimally comprise of two (2) cube trucks allocated for the distribution of: 1) fresh foods, dairy, eggs, meats; and 2) personal care and household cleaning products.

We are here to serve this community, and that is exactly what we are doing. It has been a privilege through the generosity of many local businesses and individuals to already have:

    • Supplied food for hot meals to be served at the Hospitality Center of Racine, Safe Haven of Racine, Halo in Racine, and the Shalom Center in Kenosha;
    • Supplemented individual families with grocery gift cards, nonperishable food, personal care and household cleaning products;
    • Provided 123 families with personal care and household cleaning products;[7]
    • Provided toothbrushes and toothpaste to a local nonprofit for their street outreach.

Continuing in our mission “to advance the lives of others,” additional community organizations we work with are: 1) Racine Revitalization Partnership; 2) Lakeside Curative Services (LCS); 3) Volunteer Center of Racine County; 4) Racine County Sheriff Chaplain’s office; and 5) various area community service providers to support their programs.

In short, we are serving a disadvantaged population; we are poised to make a difference in our neighbor’s lives by offering them assistance where they are and when they need it, truly A Place of Provision.

Sources:

[1] https://www.cityofracine.org/Departments/City-Development/_Documents/2017-2019-Greater-Uptown-NRSA–Adopted

[2] http://literacyinc.com/

[3] https://www.lsc.gov/sites/default/files/images/TheJusticeGap-ExecutiveSummary.pdf

[4] https://www.colgateprofessional.com/education/patient-education/topics/systemic/why-a-healthy-mouth-is-good-for-your-body

[5] https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/foodwise/files/2019/04/EFNEP-INFOGRAPH-2018-1.pdf

[6] http://www.feedingamerica.org/research/in-short-supply/in-short-supply-executive.pdf

[7] https://journaltimes.com/news/local/hygiene-product-giveaway-fills-in-the-gaps-called-a-blessing/article_8e65b87f-b069-5bd8-815f-89be163cd613.html

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