Partner Programs

Community Partners - Portage County Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled (ADD) provides information and support to disabled persons and promotes increased awareness of the needs of the disabled. Through its Community Partners Program, it initiates and supports one-to-one relationships between disabled adults and community volunteers.

Adult Day Center - The Aging & Disability Resource Center Adult Day Center provides supervised activities and programming for isolated, medically frail, cognitively impaired or physically disabled older adults. The program offers an enjoyable, social and therapeutic environment for up to 40 participants daily, while providing respite and support for caregivers.

Holly Shoppe - Located at the Lincoln Center, the Holly Shoppe is a retail outlet open to the public. All handicrafts are made by Portage County residents age 55 and over. The Holly Shoppe provides older adults the opportunity to supplement their incomes from sales of handiwork created at home.

Rural Delivered Meals - The Aging & Disability Resource Center Nutrition Program delivers meals to homebound older adults in Portage County. This service is coordinated with congregate noon meal sites at seven county locations.

Service to Armed Forces - When a military family experiences a crisis, the American Red Cross is there to help. Wherever military service takes them, service members can rest assured that the Red Cross will deliver notification of an emergency such as the death or serious illness of an immediate family member, as well as the good news of the birth of a service member's child or grandchild.

Disaster Services - During a disaster response, the Red Cross provides food, clothing and shelter. Focus is on recovery and re-establishing lives quickly. When a fire or other community disaster occurs, Red Cross personnel are activated by local fire or law enforcement officials on the scene. All Red Cross assistance is provided free of charge.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters helps children reach their potential by fostering professionally supported one-to-one relationships with measurable impact.

Community Based Match Program - Community-based mentoring matches volunteers (ages 16 and up) with children ages 6 to 17 years in one-to-one mentoring relationships. Volunteers are enrolled by trained professional staff to determine the best child for the "match". Matches may be with the same gender, opposite gender, or shared with another volunteer. After the match is introduced and approved by the parent, they meet regularly on a schedule of their convenience, and receive ongoing support from an agency Match Specialist who works to assure child safety, healthy relationship development, volunteer satisfaction and positive youth outcomes.

Site-Based Mentoring - Site-based mentoring is an option in which a volunteer mentor meets with a child at the same time each week at a school or other designated site. They may meet before, during, or after school and may have a combined academic and recreational focus. Matches may spend their time on a variety of activities such as homework, reading, board games, sports, or art activities. Professional staff monitors and supports matches to assure safety, satisfaction, consistency with educational objectives, and positive child outcomes. The match may also continue over the summer months if Big Brothers Big Sisters staff approves.

Boys & Girls Club-Almond Bancroft - The Boys & Girls Club of Portage County is an afterschool and summer porgram serving youth in grades 1-8. The Almond-Bancroft Club offers a variety of porgrams including Power Hour afterschool homework assistance, Cheftacular cooking club, Smart Girls, Family Nights, LEAP Reading Program, and Ultimate Journey. Club members also participate in regular fieldtrips throughout the area, giving them unique opportunities to see and learn.

Boys & Girls Club-Teen Programming - The Teen Program is designed to serve youth grades 7-12.  Teen specific programming takes place at four of our locations with one site, The Club, devoted specifically to teens.  In addition, the Teen Program offers a variety of outreach events such as Band Nights, Battle of the Bands, and Extreme Scene skateboard competition – each meant to reach out to a broader audience of teens.  Teens that attend The Club on a regular basis participate in programs such as Cooking Club, Sweat Your Pants Off, Man Club, Smart Girls, Keystone Leadership Club, Power Hour afterschool homework assistance, and regular opportunities to participate in and learn about opportunities in Portage County.  The Club offers a range of programming, but the primary focus of The Club is to give teens a safe place to go where they will receive opportunities to develop positive relationships with peers and adult mentors.

Boy Scouts provide Portage County youth with three comprehensive youth development programs in order to develop character, citizenship, and mental and physical fitness: 1) In Cub Scouting, boys ages 6 to 10 take part in a home and family oriented program. 2) In Boy Scouting, boys ages 11 to 18 take part in vigorous outdoor activities. 3) In Venturing, young women and men ages 14 to 20 develop self-confidence and skills for serving others.

Family Crisis Center - The Family Crisis Center operates 24‑hour crisis counseling and shelter to victims of domestic violence. The Center also offers support groups to help families identify long‑term strategies to eliminate the violence and its causes. The Center also provides short term crisis intervention and a shelter for runaway youth and youth in crisis.

Mental Health Navigator - Individuals with mental health concerns often are left isolated and may be reluctant to seek services. Barriers include fear or stigma of seeking mental health services, transportation, financial and insurance issues, availability of services, and discouragement. The result is episodic treatment. The Mental Health Navigator program attempts to reduce the barriers to accessing services and increase follow-through with treatment plans toward the goal of improving mental health functioning.

Ministry Dental Center - Ministry Dental Center, located at 3504 Maria Dr. in Stevens Point, is a dental clinic designed to serve patients with Badgercare or Medicaid health coverage. Because reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Badgercare are substantially lower than prevailing fees charged by dentists, low income persons often have great difficulty accessing dental care. This results in a high proportion of severe oral health problems in this population. This clinic has two FTE dentists and 2 dental hygienists. The Center provides services to Medicaid and Badgercare recipients who reside in Portage, Wood, Southern Marathon and western Waupaca counties. The Center currently has a one year waiting list for appointments. The clinic is operated by Ministry Health Care, and is a cooperative partnership of Ministry Health Care, CAP Services, Inc. and Delta Dental of Wisconsin.

Hmong Project - The Refugee Project works to identify ongoing needs of the Hmong community, educate the community about Hmong history and culture, and educate Hmong residents about American culture and values to assist in their integration into the community. Other services include assistance with obtaining citizenship, and family development services to assist families in achieving self-sufficiency goals. The Project also provides programming to strengthen Hmong families through education, prevention training, and intervention services aimed at reducing domestic violence.

Skills Enhancement Program - This project is designed to provide part-time educational and skills training opportunities for individuals working in low-wage jobs. The goal of the program is wage and career advancement above the poverty level. Financial assistance is available for tuition, books, child care and transportation.

VITA/TCE (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly) - The VITA program provides free tax help for low-to moderate-income residents. The TCE program provides free tax assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older with low to moderate incomes. All volunteers are trained and certified. Volunteers provide assistance with special credits such as Earned Income Tax Credits, Child Tax Credits, and credit for the elderly or disabled. Appointments are scheduled using United Way's 2-1-1 program, which is a free information and referral service.

Child and Family Counseling - This program provides services to all residents of Portage County on a sliding fee basis. Individual and family counseling is available for help with academic or behavioral school problems, low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, problems due to divorce or separation, parent-child conflicts, and physical, sexual, or emotional abuse. Services available in Hmong. Medical Assistance is accepted.

Family Outreach & Support Services (FOSS) - Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services’ Family Outreach Support Services program provides parenting education and support to families both in-home and through parenting classes.  In-home services are available to families who are experiencing high stressors and must be referred by a community agency while parenting classes are open to the general public. This program provides a combination of support services to parents of children birth to 18 years of age:
Parenting Skills Class: Pathways to Parenting: This voluntary class is designed for parents of children ages birth to 12 years old. The sessions run for 10 weeks and parents can enter the group at any time during the session. Registration is required and daycare is provided with 1 week notice prior to attendance.
Parenting Skills Class: Parents of Teens: This voluntary class is designed for parents and their teenage children, but attendance by teenagers is optional. The first 6 weeks provides parents with tools to set limits and the second 6 weeks provides parents the skills they need to keep their relationship with their teen strong. Parents must register in advance.
Community Response Program: This voluntary in-home parent education program provides families some extra help caring for their children. The program’s goal is to connect families to services and support within the community.
Program contact: Mary Schultz
Ruth Gilfrey Building - 715-845-6747

Community Industries Corporation offers services to enhance opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in community life as valued workers, neighbors and family members.

Supported Employment - Supported Employment Program helps Portage County residents with a disability to find and secure jobs in integrated work environments that may allow opportunity for advancement, better wages and benefits. Participants work with job coaches to determine work interests, identify job supports needed, explore job options and even try out certain jobs. Families or caregivers may give information to help set job goals. A job search is initiated, and when a participant is hired in a local business, assistance is provided to employee and employer to make the job a success.

Direct Client Services - Direct client services promote health, independence and opportunity for children and adults with seizure disorders to improve self-sufficiency and quality of life. Case management, support groups, and information and referral are some of the ways Direct Client Services achieves its aims.

Girl Scouting systematically prepares girls to become leaders of their own lives, and in our communities, through research and learning theory-based programs designed specifically for girls. Includes Daisy Girl Scouts (age 5), Brownies (ages 6-8), Juniors (ages 9-11), Cadettes (ages 12-14), and Seniors (ages 15-17). Programs give girls opportunities to improve their physical and emotional/mental well-being, while acquiring valuable knowledge and life skills in careers, science & technology, the arts, sports & recreation, the outdoors, and more.

Volunteer Caregivers is a faith-supported organization whose volunteers put their faith into action by offering a variety of services to all Portage County residents who have a need and have no other support system available. Services include transportation, grocery shopping/errands, friendly visiting and companionship, letter writing, snow shoveling, reading, newspaper on tape, respite and a senior home safety repair program. In addition, IVC volunteers perform minor repairs in seniors' homes for Portage County residents over the age of 62.

Meals on Wheels provides home‑delivered meals to the homebound frail, chronically ill, convalescent elderly, or disabled persons in the Stevens Point area. Monday through Friday, volunteers deliver hot noon meals which are prepared at area health care institutions. Special diets are available with a physician's order. Other services provided by the staff include nutrition education, assessment visits, and referrals to other agencies as needed.

The Child Passenger Safety Association (PCCPSA) ensures the right of every child to protection from injury or death while being transported in a motor vehicle. PCCPSA provides education programs on car seat and seat belt safety. In addition to the car seat rental program, the association offers special needs car seats for children with temporary or permanent disabilities, and information about bicycle helmets and other child safety issues.

The Literacy Council offers free, confidential one‑to‑one tutoring to adults who need help with reading, writing, and basic math skills, and/or English as a second language. Tutors are volunteers between the ages of 16 and 80. Tutor training, teaching materials and monitoring/supervision are provided Tutor/learner matches take into account: tutor skills, learner needs and scheduling conflicts. Tutors and learners meet about 2 hours per week in public places at mutually agreed upon times. Twelve to fourteen week blocks of beginning and intermediate English language classes with childcare are also offered in the spring and fall ( check for times and locations). Summer programs are available depending on funding. The Literacy Council cooperates with Mid-State Technical College, Portage County Library, WI Job Center, and many other agencies.

The Salvation Army is a national religious and charitable organization whose primary focus of services is to aid low income people. In Portage County, the Salvation Army Hope Center assists needy families and individuals with shelter, food, clothing and other emergency needs.

The purpose of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for all people. United Way funds four specific YMCA programs:

Scholarship Assistance - This program allows at-risk youth and adults from low income households to join the YMCA on a sliding scale fee basis. This program supports families in hardship situations. No one is turned away from the YMCA due to inability to pay the fees.
Adapted Recreation - The YMCA offers special programs to people with varying disabilities, including Special Olympics sports, swimming lessons, exercise programs, and more. An inclusion philosophy is utilized whenever possible.

Youth & Teen Program - A variety of programs for teens are offered. Teens can participate without being a YMCA member. The popular Teen Night program is open to teens every Saturday night throughout the school year at the YMCA facility from 7 pm to 10:30 p.m. Teen Leaders Club, Youth In Government, Teen Adventure Club, Girls Night Out are other programs offered. The Family Prime Time Center and Teen Center also offer youth and teens a safe and fun socialization area. YMCA Teen Programs focus on providing participants with a safe environment, positive adult role models and encourage character development and leadership skills.

Child Care Youth Scholarship Program - Scholarship funds are awarded on a sliding scale fee basis to low income and at risk families participating in before and after school child care, preschool programs, and summer camp programs so they benefit from quality, affordable and accessible child care.

For more information on any of these partner programs, please call United Way of Portage County at 715-341-6740, Monday-Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

2-1-1 - United Way's 2-1-1 connects people in Portage County with community-based health and human service resources, in everyday situations and times pf public disaster, by providing information and referral and serving as a catalyst for new or improved services. Portage County's 2-1-1 services are provided through a partnership between United Way of Portage County and United Way of Marathon County.

Learn for Life - United Way of Portage County is working to increase the academic performance of students by recruiting and training volunteer reading tutors. The tutors are matched with children in third grade who are identified as needing additional help with reading. The tutor and child meet every week for a minimum of 30 minutes during the school yar for individualized sessions. This program is a collaboration made up of community volunteers, businesses, educators and local non-profit agencies who serve children and youth.

Volunteer Center of Portage County - Acts as a central referral source, recruiting and screening volunteers for placement in agencies throughout the county. In addition to matching volunteers with organizations and individuals in need, the Volunteer Center coordinates annual projects such as Make A Difference Day and Project Fresh Start. The Center also works with local businesses, schools and community organizations to promote the value of giving through service.

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