The UWS award, part of a $6.05 million investment in the community, will support the organization’s financial stability programs.
TAMPA – Gulfcoast Legal Services will receive $79,063 in Community Investment funding from United Way Suncoast for its financial stability program in Pinellas and Sarasota Counties.
This grant will help the GLS provide ALICE individuals and families and those living in poverty with the civil legal support they need to access benefits, fight unfair or illegal financial practices, and overcome frauds or scams, among other issues that have impacted their financial health. The program gives individuals free access to an attorney and paralegal, who provide them with the tools and support they need to increase their overall financial stability.
“The pandemic has created unimaginable challenges for our friends and neighbors,” said Gulfcoast Legal Services CEO Tammy Greer. “Many people are still struggling to catch up after facing job losses and/or reduced hours over the past year. The demand for financial legal help is higher than ever, with clients needing assistance with everything from car repossessions to tax issues.
“We are grateful to United Way Suncoast for its support and are looking forward to expanding our reach to additional vulnerable communities to ensure all those in need have access to justice.”
The lasting community impact of the coalition’s work and specific focus on financial stability aligns with United Way’s mission. As households continue to grapple with the financial fallout of the pandemic and parents strive to navigate a challenging educational year, United Way Suncoast has stepped up with a $6.05 million boost to 77 area nonprofits for the 2022 fiscal year.
UWS continues its 97-year mission of lifting up the community by sustaining its focus on four priority areas: early learning, youth success, financial stability and asset development. The investment extends to all five counties in UWS’ region – DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota – and underscores the organization’s long-time commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
“We are proud to support high-impact programs that will do so much good across our region,” said United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff. “As we look to emerge from the pandemic and strengthen our commitment to diversity, equality, and inclusion with a new strategic vision, it’s never been more important to advocate for our community. Through our partnerships and expertise, we will continue to create bold solutions to our biggest challenges – uplifting lives and achieving equity for generations to come.”
For the second consecutive year, the organization convened a group of dedicated volunteers who conducted a thoughtful and thorough job in choosing the nonprofits. The allocation, an increase of more than $400,000 from the 2020 allocation, will impact nearly 150,000 people in UWS’ five-county region. UWS also raised and distributed $1.9 million for pandemic relief over a six-week period in 2020.
Each grant will fund specific programs that support the interconnected priority areas and help ALICE (Asset, Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families who stand just one unexpected expense from enduring hardship.
About Gulfcoast Legal Services
Gulfcoast Legal Services, Inc. (GLS) is a regional 501(c)3 non-profit organization providing free, comprehensive civil legal aid through counsel, advice, representation, advocacy, and education for vulnerable individuals and families in the Greater Tampa Bay area. Since 1978, we’ve been dedicated to serving vulnerable individuals, those living in poverty, workers earning low wages, persons with disabilities, veterans, the homeless, victims of domestic violence or human trafficking, LGBTQ individuals, and the elderly, who otherwise may not have access to an attorney.
About United Way Suncoast
United Way Suncoast severs the constraints that prevent families from thriving. We dismantle the barriers to human prosperity, uniting our community along the way. When we provide pathways to early learning, financial stability and youth success, we lift up families as they cultivate a future beyond circumstantial constraints. We provide choices. We provide opportunities. We create space for families to grow without limitations, elevating communities by building a future with equity for all. We are proud to serve the people of DeSoto, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties by operating and funding services and programs to help our community have the Freedom To Rise.