In a perfect world, everyone has savings built up to handle what life throws at us. However, in reality, many of our neighbors live one circumstance away from financial disaster. Illness, job loss, divorce or the car breaking down can cause household finances to go into a tailspin in families living paycheck to paycheck. And, even in a perfect world, you can't predict when you might be a victim of crime which strikes out of the blue.
UWSCC funds nine (9) nonprofit programs that act to intervene in a crisis. The majority of basic needs assistance is used for homeless prevention when families fall behind on rent. Low wages paired with high rent continue to be an issue with low-income families in southern Chester County. Our programs' caseworkers provide long-term support for building household stability with these families through one-on-one counseling and workshops, teaching them to improve self-sustainability. Oxford currently maintains a higher rate of homeless than Kennett Square.
Struggling families can also access help with heating oil and electric bills and use our 2 funded food cupboards in Kennett and Oxford.
Crime attacks people, regardless of income level. UWSCC funding provide easy access to help for domestic violence victims and their families. 524 victims were helped in both the Kennett and Oxford offices in 2016. Many of our southern Chester County victims also face language barriers, along with a lack of knowledge about the legal help available to them. Domestic violence victims has access to a 24-hour crisis hotline, emergency shelter/safe house, trauma counseling for both adults and children, and legal advocacy and representation.
Over 660 southern Chester County residents were victims of crimes last year - ranging from homicide, sexual abuse, incest, and teen and adult sexual assault. A UWSCC-funded program helped them receive counseling and accompaniment to medical and legal proceeding.