CLEWISTON — Lisa Sands, the Hendry/Glades coordinator for United Way of Lee, Hendry, Glades and Okeechobee counties, told city commissioners last week that the organization is close to announcing a plan to establish a new United Way House in town.
“We are currently without one in Clewiston,” she said, telling the city commission that because Goodwill had announced months ago it was closing its store, where the office had been, and then changed plans just days before, the partner agencies formerly housed there already had moved.
“We tried to find somewhere to keep them together, but were unsuccessful with that. When Goodwill decided to stay open, our agencies had already moved out.
“So now,” she continued, “the Salvation Army is at the Presbyterian church currently, Early Learning Coalition is at CareerSource, so they’re kind of dispersed out. We are working on a plan to have another United Way House so that all of our social service entities can be together and our partners have a place to come and provide services,” Ms. Sands said.
She mentioned that, working with one of a partner agency that has its own building in the community, United Way is planning to rent space from them. “It is not our ideal situation, but we feel that it’s very important to have those services in the community. So as soon as we have that information, we’ll make it available so you all will know where it will be.”
She said United Way officials would be back within a few months to tell them about the work of the Hendry Glades Unmet Needs Coalition.
“We have served as fiscal agent for HGUNC, which has been providing long-term recovery services for survivors of Hurricane Irma, and will provide a report on the grant that we received for that project and the services that we provide to the residents and community, and you can see what kind of projects and rebuilds and roof repairs and such that we’ve done.
“Our grant ends this month,” Ms. Sands explained, “so we’re scrambling to get everything finalized, but this is our current campaign coming up, you’ll see agencies we’ll be working with.”
She distributed a new flier to the commissioners, and Mayor Mali Gardner said, “Thank you for all the many needed services you provide.”