At United Way of the Black Hills, We fight for the EDUCATION, FINANCIAL STABILITY and HEALTH of every person in the Black Hills Community...
A MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OUR IMPACT IN SPEARFISH FOR 2019 - 2020
We fight for the EDUCATION of every person in the Black Hills
DID YOU KNOW? Less than 50% of third graders are reading proficient in South Dakota. BLACK HILLS READS HELPS TO ENSURE CHILDREN ARE PROFICIENT READERS BY THE END OF THIRD GRADE.
Black Hills Reads is a United Way of the Black Hills education initiative. The overall goal is to help children reach reading proficiency by third grade and support partners in this process. Black Hills Reads addresses reading through five pillar areas: School Readiness, Healthy Readers, Successful Parents, School Attendance, and Summer learning. Black Hills Reads accomplishes these goals by providing advocacy for educational programs, offering pilot programs, special events and innovation grant opportunities.
Learn more about Black Hills Reads by watching the video below!
We fight for the FINANCIAL STABILITY of every person in the Black Hills
We make this possible by funding programs for affordable housing, financial assistance and education and transportation.
In 2019 - 2020, 2,296 lives in Spearfish were impacted by these programs and services that we fund.
Access to affordable transportation
Prairie Hills Transit
According to our 2019 Community Needs Assessment, lack of access to transportation was one of the top #10 identified needs in all areas throughout the Black Hills
2,232 people in Spearfish utilized affordable transportation to jobs, medical facilities, and vital services
After a fall that left her unable able to drive or get in a car, a Belle Fourche passenger began to use our service to attend her physical therapy appointments. She now rides multiple times a week to activities at the Senior Center, to her medical appointments, and has been encouraging her friends to ride with us as well.
According to our 2019 Community Needs Assessment, lack of access to affordable housing was one of the top #3 needs in all areas throughout the Black Hills
Through United Way of the Black Hills, we were able provide 45 individuals and families in Spearfish the proper resources and education to access safe and affordable housing.
Angela Duvall of Spearfish is a single mother with one son, and receives disability income. Because of this fixed income, Angela was unable to complete needed repairs to her home’s roof, windows, siding and interior floor. We were able to complete these vital repairs on her home in August 2019, and now she and her son live safely in their home. “Habitat was an answer to my prayers! My roof no longer leaks and the new siding looks amazing – especially with the new paint job! Thank you so much!” – Angela Duvall
Thanks to UWBH funding, Black Hills Habitat for Humanity was able to provide vital repairs for this single mother.
We fight for the HEALTH of every person in the Black Hills
Much of what influences health happens outside the doctor's office. If we want children to do well in school they need to be well fed and rested instead of worrying where their bed will be that night. If we want adults to have stable jobs they need access to healthcare and counseling support. In 2019-2020, we impacted 2,668 lives in Spearfish
Access and Affordability of Food
Through United Way of the Black Hills, we are able to give families accessible and affordable food through programs such as Feeding SD, Meals on Wheels, and the Spearfish Nutrition Site.
"We have received calls from out of state family members who have praised the meals program for physical improvements in their loved one, as well as emotional improvement because of daily visits..." - Spearfish Nutrition Site
Access to affordable Medication
Community Health Center of the Black Hills
Two teen brothers in Spearfish both struggle with bipolar disorder, anxiety and ADHD, all of which require consistent treatment with medications in addition to counseling.
Both brothers have received counseling and medication through Community Health Center of the Black Hills (CHCBH) for a number of years. Both require a medication which costs $245/month for the two of them. Family had great difficulty obtaining this medication due to cost.
United Way of the Black Hills Voucher program has reduced the mom’s monthly out of pocket copay for this medication to $75/month. Family is now able to obtain on a consistent basis, so there is no lapse in treatment." - Community Health Center of the Black Hills
Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota - Canyon Hills Center
A 16-year-old girl wrote this letter to her therapist as she was preparing to return home after her treatment at Canyon Hills. This was a young woman who struggled with substance abuse and other mental health issues, which affected her ability to succeed at home and in school.
"Dear Therapist: I would firstly like to thank you for your very much appreciated help. Thank you for teaching me wonderful skills, and completely compelling life lessons. It was an absolute honor to have the privilege of working with you in therapy, you have helped me immensely. Although there were expected bumps in my stay at Canyon Hills Center, I will forever remember how Canyon Hills Center impacted my life, and helped me completely turn my life around. It was truly a blessing to finally receive the help I needed. Thank you. I’m very excited for the numerous opportunities I will have in my life to do great things. I would like to thank you for supporting me through the beginning stages of my recovery process. It was an absolute honor to get to know you as well as the CHC staff. I very much appreciate CHC, and the help they have provided assisting me along my beginning stages of recovery." - (name not revealed to protect privacy)
Shelter from Domestic Violence
According to our 2019 Community Needs Assessment, lack of availability of temporary shelter for those escaping violence was the #4 top identified need in the Black Hills. Addressing domestic violence could also help address the mental health, substance abuse, and child abuse arenas.
Through funding Victims of Violence Intervention Program (Artemis House), victims have an advocate available to listen to their needs and available options so they can become empowered to leave their current environment.
COVID-19 Relief Fund in Spearfish
The impact of COVID-19 brought new challenges to the Spearfish community. United Way of the Black Hills stepped in to provide grant funding to organizations and programs serving the immediate needs of folks in Spearfish.
Child Care Programs
Child care programs faced new health and safety guidelines limiting the number of children who could be served and increasing cleaning needs which has resulted in major increases in cost to operate. United Way of the Black Hills was able to help cover the cost of the cleaning supplies so these centers could keep their doors open. The Children First program, Spearfish United Methodist Church received a $2,000 grant from our COVID-19 relief fund to aid in these costs.
"(By) receiving the grant we were able to hire extra staff to walk the children to their classrooms as we are not allowing the parents down the hall or into the classrooms to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Without the grant this would have made a big strain on our budget. We are thankful for the grant and helping us to make the changes during this crazy time." - Children First program, Spearfish United Methodist Church
Black Hills Reads COVID-19 Summer Slide Innovation Grants
The Grace Balloch Memorial Library received a $2,500 innovative grant from Black Hills Reads to purchase materials and prizes for their summer reading incentive program and keeping kids engaged in learning.
Access to food
Organizations who received grants for food support showed a 30% to 50% increase in demand for their services during the pandemic. Programs such as Feeding SD, Meals on Wheels and Volunteers of America were able to provide meals and food boxes to those in need in Spearfish.
Mask Making Efforts
Several nonprofit organiations stepped up to help ensure there were plenty of masks available for healthcare workers, assisted living facilities, child care sites, and more. makeSPACE Spearfish Partnership for Arts was a leader in making these masks. Our COVID-19 Relief grant allowed them to purchase more fabric and materials to make the masks.
Shelter from Domestic Violence
Organizations like the Artemis House domestic violence shelter continued to offer their services 24/7 in spite of the pandemic. They dealt with the increase costs of cleaning supplies to still accommodate their clients. The COVID-19 relief grant ensured that they could afford these supplies to continue their essential services.