In 1986, three local businessmen; Steve Lamb, Gerry Mulligan and Wilson Burns, had a dream to start a United Way in Citrus County. Their passion for helping others launched an organization that provided fiscal oversight for the communities philanthropic needs. Throughout the years, our United Way has raised millions of dollars and invested in countless programs that have significantly improved lives across our community.
In 2012, our United Way adopted a Community Impact model that led to the development of internal programs designed to serve the greatest unmet needs of the community. The first impact program was launched in partnership with the Black Diamond Foundation. The United Way Prosperity Center program assists local adults to earn degrees and diplomas that lead to family-sustaining income. In 2015, our United Way expanded our work through the procurement of several grants. This funding allowed us to launch Reading Pals program and Rapid Rehousing Programs. Reading Pals supports the development of reading skills in preschool and Kindergarten students. Through the involvement of nearly 200 volunteers, Reading Pals has successfully improved school readiness skills, phonological awareness, and letter and sound recognition. The Rapid Rehousing Program allows us to assist homeless individuals and families to move into a home, providing safety and sustainability. In 2017, United Way launched a new program designed to serve our local Veterans. Mission United is dedicated to serving those who have served, successfully housing homeless Veterans, connecting Veterans with services and supporting ancillary needs.
All of this great work is centered around our Mission Statement Radically Improving Lives, While Creating Lasting Change. This work will allow us to achieve our vision of our community stated in our Vision Statement A More Prosperous, Better Educated, Healthier Citrus County.