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Men and Women United for Youth & Families, CDC… Community Grown

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Men and Women United for Youth & Families,  Community Development Corporation
CDC (MWUYF), has served as a Community Resiliency Hub to Bladen, Brunswick, and Columbus counties for over 13 years under the Executive Director’s leadership.
Executive Director Randolph Keaton and the Board of Directors guide our agency to provide vital communication and much-needed resources to the outlier communities and residents of these counties. These communities may typically be missed for distribution of resources and due to poor communication and access. Some of these communities are 30 miles away from their county’s seat.

Our Case Management System has proven beneficial in these communities where residents still feel disenfranchised and marginalized by the lack of support through our government and support agencies’ processes. The feeling is that they will never be helped and that their problems don’t matter.

Using our Case Management Model, MWUYF has been able to address the holistic needs of the family. With our resource partners, we assist clients in the areas of job training in finding gainful employment, education and life skills training, disaster recovery assistance, mental health services, strengthening families counseling, and COVID-19 relief. Services are provided at our office located at 44 Dream Ave in Delco, NC. Anyone needing mental health assistance is referred downstairs to the Community Support Agency located at the same property.

The work we do is partially sustained through donations and fund-raising events. Still, we rely primarily on funding granted through our partners such as Red Cross, The Golden LEAF Foundation, Conservation Fund, Resourceful Communities, and the North Carolina Community.
Foundation. Because of this support from our partners, we have assisted over one hundred individuals and families, and counting, who have been directly affected by COVID-19.

With the shutdown of our country and economic hardship rising to an all-time high, we have been able to help families maintain and recover with direct assistance. MWUYF was deemed an Essential Needs Organization throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and proved to be a much-needed resource for clients who had nowhere else to turn for support while other agencies were shut down.

“We provide clients with staff-assisted internet access through our Job Center to search for employment and file unemployment claims.” We also provide rental assistance, utility assistance, laptops & home internet service for students who don’t have the access or funds, grocery store
gift cards to purchase food and food from our on-site Food Pantry, which is available to walk-in clients for immediate emergency assistance.
Due to the housing shortage in our communities, there are many people still living under hazardous conditions in homes that were severely damaged by Hurricanes Mathew and Florence wind and floodwaters.

Men and Women United for Youth & Families’ Disaster Recovery Program has provided direct assistance to 720 people through our case management process. We continue to assist clients with home replacement, major and minor home repairs, roof repairs, HVAC replacement, mold remediation, rental assistance, utility assistance, and food.

One of our most rewarding cases was the assistance we provided to an elderly, retired, Bladen County Educator who had extensive home damage, including 80% damage to its flooring. We assisted with home remodeling and floor replacement making her home safe and habitable once
again.

Our Youth Ambassadors Program provides life skills and entrepreneurial training to local youth who are middle school and high school age. They, along with their families, have been directly affected by recent hurricanes and COVID-19 in some way or another, but have proven themselves to be resilient through their work with our renowned three-year old Vacation Vittles Program, which provides fresh locally grown produce to vacationers at our local beaches as well as the Bladen and Columbus County Farmers’ Markets.

We also have seven college interns from NC State University, NC A & T University, UNC-Wilmington, and East Carolina University, who mentor and work with our youth one-on-one during the summer. MWUYF takes pride in giving away over $20,000 in scholarships to Bladen County High School Seniors over the past 10 years.

One of our past scholarship recipients, Ms. Lataiya Daniels, was East Bladen High School’s 2018 Class Valedictorian and now serves as MWUYF’s Lead Mentor Support Director for the Youth Ambassadors Program. She currently attends UNC-Wilmington, majoring in Business and Psychology, while also displaying her ambition by paying it forward and assisting the next generation as a mentor.

MEN AND WOMEN UNITED FOR YOUTH & FAMILIES, CDC…
WE ARE MOTHERS, FATHERS, SISTERS AND BROTHERS,
WE ARE MEN AND WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADULTS,
WE ARE FAMILY, WE ARE COMMUNITY,
WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF STRENGTH AND SELF RESILIENCY.

Related Article:

Men and Women United for Youth and Families raising money with car show for scholarships

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