Vital/Essential Services

We fight to ensure individuals and families receive the support
they need in times of crisis and emergency.

We recognize there are essential services vital to the well-being of our community that deserve our support. Essential services programs we support fall into one of two categories:

Disaster services – 
These unexpected events create a sudden disruption in normal activities of life. Affected individuals experience the impact of the disaster in their home, work, and personal lives. Disaster services focus on repair preparedness and restoring normal functioning as soon as possible. This benefits the individuals and families directly impacted and the community as a whole.

Unique services
These programs identify and provide support to under-served individuals and families. By strengthening the support for the individual, they are able to enhance and maintain their optimal quality of life. Support of these programs equals the playing field and allows the participants to reach their full potential.

Vital/Essential Services Goal:
Unique services are provided to our vulnerable population
(vulnerable defined as: one who is in need of special care, support or protection because of
age, disability or risk of abuse or neglect.)



Essential Services Programs funded by the United Way of Southwestern Indiana:

Services to the Armed Forces – American Red Cross
Supports military members and their families through a continuum of care that runs throughout their time of service and after.

Disaster (Prepare, Respond & Recover) – American Red Cross
Response to domestic disasters by sheltering, feeding and comforting those affected from house fires to natural disasters.
Services to Armed Forces.

Working Parents Program – Ark Crisis Child Care Center
Provides free care to children (6 weeks to 6 years) whose parents work or are seeking employment and have no alternative for safe, affordable childcare.

High Risk for Abuse & Neglect Crisis Care Program – Ark Crisis Child Care Center
Provides free care to children (6 weeks to 6 years) at highest risk for abuse and neglect, including children: have an open abuse/neglect case with DCS, removed from homes due to abuse/neglect, in homeless and domestic violence shelters, in high-risk categories including poverty, parental drug use, home-instability or other high-stress situations.

Victim Advocacy – Crisis Connection
Essential services available 24/7 and include crisis response, medical, legal, personal and forensic advocacy, and emergency and non-emergency housing.

Emergency Food Pantry – The Salvation Army
Provides families, individuals and children with enough nutritious food for home preparation for 3 to 4 days until other economic barriers can be resolved.

Daily Feeding Program – The Salvation Army
Provides one hot nutritious meal to families, children and individuals.

Volunteer Based Child Advocate program – Vanderburgh County CASA
Recruits and trains community volunteers to advocate for the abused and neglected children in our community that are going through the Juvenile Court System.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program – VOICES, Inc.
Provides long-term care ombudsman services to those living in nursing homes and assisted living homes in Vanderburgh County.  Ombudsmen are state certified to protect the rights for residents in long-term care facilities through advocacy, empowerment and education.

Real Life Story
(This story was submitted to us from The Salvation Army with permission to share.)

We had a young family come to our feeding program this past summer. They were seeking resources while living on a very small budget. The mother was doing her best to find work while tending to her young children’s needs. Our feeding program became a lifeline for her family. Through this “foot in the door” service, she was able to find additional resources through our social worker. She was able to get her children engaged in youth programs at a very low cost, allowing her more time to look for work. She was also able to network and connect with other mothers who were attending our soup kitchen at the time.

Because of this program, the young family was able to tap into the resources needed to better their lives. They have since moved on – the mother has found work, and her family no longer requires the use of our soup kitchen.

There is more than just food offered here at our feeding program. We also offer hope and encouragement. We were very thankful to have been able to provide this type of success for a family striving to improve their lives.