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Live United Village, A One-Stop Location for Residents in Need of Support

Heart of Florida United Way Invests Single Largest Gift in its 83-Year History to Transform Services in Seminole County
$1 Million Investment in The Sharing Center Brings Vision to Life; Live United Village, A One-Stop Location for Residents in Need of Support

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 29, 2022) – Today, Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) announced the organization’s single largest investment in a partner agency in its 83-year history. Known for making annual investments in partner agencies to meet the immediate community needs, HFUW is making its first transformational investment of $1 million to build capacity in Seminole County through The Sharing Center. This announcement occurred during a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the new Live United Village.

“Today marks a monumental step in transforming the way that social services are delivered in Seminole County,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO, Heart of Florida United Way. “The Sharing Center has been a beacon of hope for many homeless neighbors for 35 years. Through the Live United Village, not only will individuals be able to receive a variety of transformative services in a one-stop hub, but there will be an emphasis on prevention, in hopes of meeting needs before they become a crisis.”

The Live United Village will help individuals experiencing financial hardship transition into economic stability through job training, job searches and stable housing. Within a 12-month period, it is anticipated to lift 126 family members out of poverty through a newly launched program ProjectRISE (Reach, Inspire, Sustain, and Empower), a workforce development program for individuals and their families to gain skillful employment, financial freedom, and housing stability.

The Sharing Center will continue to provide emergency services as well. Originally created in 2011, The Oasis is a respite center that is tripling in size with the new renovations. Now in a 3,600-sq.-ft. space, The Oasis will offer services to double the number of homeless individuals and families – or approximately 4,118 individuals – per year who require services every day. It will help provide approximately 15,882 services for those individuals. This new space now holds:

● a state-of-the-art multi-purpose training center,

● double the number of personal shower rooms,

● double the number of industrial washer and dryer sets, and

● additional space for case manager and partner offices

“We would not have been able to complete this project without the support of Heart of Florida United Way,” said Nina Yon, President & CEO of The Sharing Center. “The overwhelming need of the services we provide is ever-growing, and we want to continue to share those services at the maximum capacity. That said, we are certainly blessed with a community that cares for those underserved and has stepped up to make this expansion a reality.”

Funding for this initiative is from a historic $20 million gift from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott. This was the largest single gift HFUW has ever received in the organization’s 83-year history.

“MacKenzie Scott is the new standard for philanthropists to follow,” continued Hayward. “We are grateful she selected us and now we want to make sure the dollars are put to use in a way that will transform lives and transform health and human service issues for our residents. It is also our hope that other corporations and philanthropists step forward to generously invest with us. In order to live better, we must all Live United.”

Heart of Florida United Way will continue to work within its traditional business model of investing in programs throughout the year. The organization will continue to fundraise and run workplace giving campaigns in order to do so. It still needs the community’s support to be able to support immediate community needs. Visit hfuw.org for more information about Heart of Florida United Way and to learn more about how to get involved.

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About Heart of Florida United Way:

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. In 2019-20, it raised and managed more than $34.7 million in total resources, including $29.5 million raised for the Community Fund that invests in dozens of vitally important programs in the community throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in Central Florida. It operates United Way 211, Central Florida’s information and assistance, crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center and the Ryan White program, which administers nearly $3.2 million to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. HFUW impacts more than 400,000 individuals annually through its direct service and funded programs. United Way partners with local businesses, government, other charities to increase awareness of local health and human service issues and to inspire hope, provide options and create possibilities for people in need. Visit www.HFUW.org for more information, or call (407) 835-0900. Follow us on Facebook at Heart of Florida United Way and on Twitter and Instagram @hfuw.

About The Sharing Center:

In 1986, 17 churches joined together to serve those experiencing hunger and homelessness. Today, The Sharing Center has grown to become the most comprehensive social services organization in Seminole County. The organization’s mission to work through Christ, to inspire dignified solutions for those experiencing hunger and homelessness. Annually, The Sharing Center supports an average of 15,000 individuals facing a range of difficult circumstances from emergency hardships to life-long stability. r more details on how we’re inspiring hope in our community, visit www.thesharingcenter.org. Follow The Sharing Center on Facebook or LinkedIn use @thesharingcenter.

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