Our Administration of the Award of $166,179 will Strengthen Emergency Services in Deschutes County

United Way of Central Oregon (UWCO) proudly announces the administration of $166,179 in grants aimed to enhance emergency food, shelter, and clothing services across Deschutes County. This substantial investment will support the most vulnerable members of our community, addressing critical needs and fostering resilience among those facing hardship. 

This year, $78,400 of the funds were provided by Deschutes County, sourced from Video Lottery Funds, and allocated by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners specifically for UWCO’s emergency Community Grants. An additional $87,779 was awarded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program (EFSP) to bolster agencies that provide those services in Deschutes County. 

“Our commitment to the well-being of Central Oregonians is unwavering,” said Diana Fischetti, Regional Executive Director of UWCO. “Year over year, United Way of Central Oregon has consistently served as the local organization entrusted to lead the volunteer-driven process of allocating and deploying these funds throughout our community, ensuring that resources are directed to the organizations serving those who are in greatest need. This year’s funding priorities included housing, rent assistance, food, clothing, families, and those in underserved areas, communities, and populations.” 

A Local Board consisting of volunteers, including local government, nonprofits, community members, and faith-based organizations, conducted a comprehensive review of applications received in response to an open RFP (Request for Proposals) for these funds. The Local Board voted to determine the distribution of funds among local agency programs providing food, shelter, and clothing. 

United Way’s 2023 study of financial hardship – ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) in the Crosscurrents – revealed that a staggering 38% of households in Central Oregon fall short of the income needed to cover basic living expenses, such as housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care, a cell phone, and internet. With many unable to afford a sudden $400 emergency expense, these grant allocations come as critical support for the community. 

Eligible services and expenditures for the federal funds included an array of assistance programs like food services, shelter services, utility aid, and ESFP allocation process administration. County funds further extended eligibility to include clothing and diapers, ensuring a comprehensive approach to emergency assistance. 

Federal EFSP fund recipients were Bethlehem Inn ($12,500), J Bar J Youth Services ($17,145), NeighborImpact ($5,000), Salvation Army ($11,379), Saving Grace ($5,000), Shepherd’s House Ministries ($12,500), The Giving Plate ($7,500), Thrive Central Oregon ($15,000), and United Way of Central Oregon ($1,755). And, recipients of the Deschutes County funds were Assistance League of Bend ($4,750), Bend Church – United Methodist ($6,000), Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend ($7,500), Central Oregon Council on Aging ($4,000), Central Oregon Villages ($10,395), Diaper Bank of Central Oregon ($7,500), Family Kitchen ($7,500), Friends of the Children Central Oregon ($2,500), Home More Network ($5,000), Jericho Road ($7,500), Nativity Lutheran Church Food Pantry ($4,000), Society of St. Vincent De Paul Redmond ($2,500), Society of St. Vincent De Paul La Pine ($1,755), and St. Vincent de Paul Society Bend ($7,500). 

United Way of Central Oregon remains dedicated to advancing healthy communities, youth opportunities, financial security, and community resilience. These grants are a testament to those efforts, offering a lifeline to those in need and contributing to the fabric of a stronger, more supportive Central Oregon. 

For more information about the grant distribution, the impact on local communities, or to learn more about United Way of Central Oregon’s initiatives, please contact Diana Fischetti at diana@uwco.org or call 541-389-6507.  


About United Way of Central Oregon
United Way of Central Oregon exists to advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of our communities, responding to community needs, and investing with our community partners to improve and strengthen lives. Through strategic partnerships and collaborative efforts, UWCO works to identify and address the evolving needs of Central Oregon, ensuring that resources are invested where they are most needed and can have the most substantial impact. For more information, visit https://www.unitedwaycentraloregon.org/. For more information about the ALICE study of financial hardship, please visit https://www.unitedforalice.org/.