Supporting Youth & Families
In 2018, Bloomington-Normal experienced a surge in violence, including 9 homicides, many of them involving young people under 30. McLean County has seen the poverty rate continue to rise, reaching 18% in 2017 despite overall household incomes increases. We have also seen an increase in work opportunities that lack meaningful potential or capacity for growth. These factors are creating an environment in the McLean County area that is limiting opportunities for growth and preventing community health and happiness.
Recently, United Way of McLean County conducted a survey on how our community is viewed by its youths and its leaders. One image showcases words which Bloomington-Normal leaders used to describe McLean County, while the other provides words offered by the community’s youths.
These two groups are critical to the development of our community. It is our hope to one day have more cohesion between these groups and empower our Bloomington-Normal to be the best community it can be.
United Way of McLean County is working to combat the growing violence and poverty rates by focusing on school readiness and behavioral health.
“The Breakfast Club”
This effort provides local at-risk youth with opportunities for leadership development, service, and connection to careers available locally. We’re partnering with local organizations and businesses to give youth a voice and to demonstrate to them the best that Bloomington-Normal has to offer.
For School Readiness, some current community collaborators include:
Boys & Girls Club
Big Brothers Big Sisters
The Jule Foundation