United Way of Allen County programs and information...

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United Way of Allen County programs and information...

Post by GalindoP » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:00 am

Below is information on our 2-1-1 referral center, On My Way Pre-K initiative and Free Tax Program. Archived United Way newsletters are available in the Media Center section of our website as well. http://www.unitedwayallencounty.org/node/499

What is 2-1-1 and where is it available?

2-1-1 is a free national dialing code for health and human service information and referral. 2-1-1 is an easy-to-remember number that helps connect individuals and families to community-based organizations. 2-1-1 offers referral services for housing, shelter, food, legal aid, clothing, education, counseling, utility assistance, health care, transportation, volunteer opportunities, employment programs and disaster response.

Today, 2-1-1 reaches approximately 91 percent of the U.S. population, covering all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. United Way 2-1-1 is one of eight regional Indiana 211 Centers that provide 2-1-1 service to Hoosiers in all 92 counties. United Way 2-1-1 is the regional Center for Adams, Allen, Blackford, DeKalb, Elkhart, Fulton, Grant, Huntington, Jay, Kosciusko, Lagrange, LaPorte, Marshall, Noble, Steuben, St. Joseph, Wabash, Wells, and Whitley counties.

Dial 2-1-1, 1-877-502-0700 or visit http://www.myunitedway2-1-1.org for FREE, confidential, 24-hour information and referral assistance.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Free Tax Program
Families or individuals that earn less than $53,000 gross annually qualify for the Free Tax Preparation program organized by members of the Financial Stability Partnership. IRS-certified volunteer tax preparers help residents file their taxes and claim available credits. Tax credits may help families get up to a $5,000 refund.

The Free Tax Preparation program saves residents fees for tax preparation and e-filing. Highly trained, certified volunteer preparers run the program to ensure that individuals receive high quality tax services.

To learn more about the Free Tax Preparation program, residents may download a flyer from http://www.UnitedWayAllenCounty.org/initiatives. Residents may also dial 2-1-1 for more information or to schedule a tax preparation appointment. Free tax preparation is available from January 31 to April 13 throughout Allen County, with additional sites for DeKalb, Noble and Steuben Counties:

On My Way Pre-K is on its way!
On My Way Pre-K is the name of Indiana’s first state-funded pre-kindergarten program, which was approved as a five-county pilot by the Indiana General Assembly in 2014. United Way of Allen County, Women United and PNC Bank have pledged matching funds to enable Allen County families to benefit from this program.

Families must have met all the following eligibility criteria to apply:
• The family must have an income below 127 percent of the federal poverty level.
• The family must reside in Allen County.
• The child must be 4 years old and starting kindergarten in August 2015.

The initial rollout of the On My Way Pre-K program in January was very successful. For this first round, Allen County had 60 slots open for eligible four-year-olds. Community Action of Northeast Indiana (CANI) accepted 119 valid applications for those 60 slots. A lottery was held the week of December 17 to select the 60 students who would participate in this initial phase. The parents of those students were then assisted by CANI in selecting a pre-approved level three or four Paths to Quality® provider. All of the students started their first day in the program by January 19.
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